Humans are visual creatures — it's in our very DNA. Since the beginning of time, we've been biologically programmed to be aware of our visual surroundings.
The mammal brain, where we process visual information, is the center of emotional activity. It's the engine driving our decision-making. We process visual information an incredible 60 000 times faster than written information. This is why we can 'mindlessly' watch a video but we can't read a book without putting in some cognitive effort.
Product videos + e‑commerce = conversions
Exposing humans to visual information that involves movement is the most effective way to influence our emotions — and therefore our purchasing behavior. This is where e-commerce comes in. The data speaks for itself.
How video replicates the in‑store experience online
There's one big advantage brick and mortar stores have over online retailers: customers are able to touch and see products before purchasing. Many stores compensate for this by including extensive product info and beautiful photographs.
But text and still images don't feed our mammal brain with the living, moving images that our DNA tells us to seek out.
Videos, however, bring a product to life. The human voice, body language, music allow you to create an engaging story around the product. The customer can see a device in use, the way a garment moves on the body or hear the sounds a gadget makes. Multiple senses are tickled at the same time, triggering stronger emotional responses and ultimately influencing the purchasing decision in a way that other types of information can't.
Why video content should be the king of the e‑commerce jungle
Now more than ever, it's clear that people are obsessed with video. By 2022 over 82% of web traffic will consist of online videos. YouTube has over 2 billion monthly users making it the second most popular website globally. And product reviews and how-to videos are among the most popular YouTube categories. 68% of YouTube users said they watched product videos to help them make purchase decisions.
So you might logically assume that videos are the status quo in all e-commerce stores. But it's not that simple. In fact, leveraging video content is actually surprisingly hard and still relatively uncommon. Why?
Producing video content is expensive
Generally, it's considered advantageous for a webstore to have a broad range of products. But viewed from a content creation standpoint, this quickly becomes an issue. Creating video content requires an abundance of resources. It's virtually impossible for retailers selling many different products to cover all of them with videos. Even covering just a small percentage can take up a significant chunk of your budget.
Smart embedding is complex
Embedding videos really isn't as straightforward as it might seem. Although the majority of e-commerce platforms allow some degree of video embedding, the reality can be impractical.
Take video placement. A video needs to be placed in a prime position to catch the customer's eye. This means as close to the main product picture as possible. However, on many platforms video embedding is only possible at the very bottom of the page — not the ideal place if you want your customers to easily view your videos.
And optimizing video content for a whole range of browsers and devices can also be tricky.
Keeping your video library up‑to‑date
When utilizing video content from sources such as YouTube, you have to pay attention to timeliness. If a video is removed from its original source, this will likely appear as a broken link in the retailer's video player, confusing the customer.
Many industries are fast-moving, making it a challenge to keep the content relevant. It can take a lot of person hours to wade through thousands of products and guarantee videos are working with up‑to‑date content.
Solution: Utilize existing video content
So how can you realistically make video content work for your online store? Well, it's easier than it may first appear.
With most purchasing decisions being powered by YouTube, an entire industry has sprung up around product videos. The content is there, ready to be taken advantage of by savvy retailers.
The majority of online video content is free to use, but just make sure to double check the copyright. Videoly does this automatically, ensuring you're always on the right side of the law.
Product manufacturers know that videos sell their products, so many of them put a lot of effort into producing original content. These videos are high-quality and enable potential customers to engage with and be inspired by the brand, further increasing brand loyalty.
User-generated content (UGC) kills two birds with one stone
Authentic consumer-made product reviews increase add-to-cart conversions more than ordinary manufacture-made videos. This isn't surprising as it's been shown that consumers across all age groups actually trust online reviewers most when making purchasing decisions.
UGC videos make the perfect complement to traditional star reviews, as with video reviews it's easier for consumers to determine whether they trust the reviewer's message. Then there's the sheer variety of UGC reviews — how-to, unboxing, product comparisons, and so on. It's definitely worth the effort to do some treasure-hunting and discover all the content already existing for your product.