If a picture is worth a thousand words, what’s a video worth? Used effectively, video is the optimum tool for improving ecommerce user experience and engaging audiences. It transmits more emotion and provides a realistic sense of a product.
According to HubSpot, 43% of us want to see more video content. This is the mobile effect. We’re watching movies, TV, and live video on mobile. It’s huge on social media with influencers, virals, recipe videos, and product reviews. But why is it still growing? And how can brands capitalise?
The accessibility of video production technology and plethora of platforms on which to publish allows brands to deliver quality content quickly. Video can engage, inspire, and inform. And, with highly-converting sites plus the impact of social commerce, video now sells quicker than ever.
Half of all video content is now viewed on mobile, with improved internet speeds and larger screens. Late-2019 sees the roll-out of 5G, although mass adoption won’t be immediate as manufacturers are still developing 5G-ready devices. But 5G will mean greater access to video on-the-go – a 2-hour movie will be downloaded in just 12 seconds – and is also expected to unlock the potential of VR and AR technologies.
User Experience (UX)
When considering the UX design, video integration has become a key tool to showcase a product, service, or brand story. It’s ideal for ecommerce, extending time spent on site or app, meaning greater opportunity to convert browsers to buyers.
An estimated 64% of online shoppers are more likely to buy a product after watching branded social video content. But video shouldn’t be limited to social media, homepages, or corporate pages. Many brands are now embedding videos within product pages (see below), driving more sales by educating and engaging consumers, plus adding an SEO boost.
And, with new technologies now readily available, 360-degree views of products, interactive animations and AR/VR applications can provide online shoppers with the product experience they’d get in-store. This is the ultimate in terms of online user experience.
You can’t ignore social when it comes to video. The big players are developing video platforms to differentiate from other social networks, or merely keep up.
YouTube is now the world’s second-largest search engine, with many using it as their first stop for finding influencers, products, and advice. These days, a YouTube strategy shouldn’t be far behind an SEO strategy when selling online.
With the amount of time spent watching YouTube up 60% in the last year, there’s an appetite for long-form video. And this is far from satiated. Whereas most brands have active Instagram or Facebook accounts, many are not regular YouTubers, so there’s plenty of opportunity to steal a march.
Having seen the success of Instagram Stories – more than 400 million people use the platform every day – YouTube launched its own ‘stories’. Expected to drive brand engagement – as influencers drop teaser videos, behind-the-scenes cuts, polls, competitions and exclusive snippets – YouTube is hoping this format will strike a note with a more casual and personal style of video content.
Whilst YouTube takes inspiration from Instagram, the reverse is also true – with the recent launch of IGTV. It made sense for Instagram to offer a long-form platform, concerned that influencers would jump ship to YouTube for long-form needs. There’s an opportunity here for brands and influencers to connect with their audience, it just needs a few big-name success stories to gain traction.
But its Stories platform has been a huge success. There’s no way around it; brands on Instagram need to be using Stories. 80% of Instagram’s 500 daily users are watching Stories as often as they’re checking their feed. It’s become a quick way to post engaging video content and generate hype.
Following the success of its in-post commerce feature, Instagram rolled this out in Stories too. 90 million people tap buyable posts each month, so the potential is huge. It will allow users to purchase products direct from Stories in a few taps, and the immediate, temporary nature of the platform plays into the hands of brands with product launches and short promotions.
Snapchat is still big with the kids. When queried 46% of Gen Z said Snapchat was their favorite social network, compared to 35% favoring Instagram. Clearly, both are incredibly useful for targeting social-savvy consumers with products through video snippets. Its ephemeral nature provokes a ‘must have now’ reaction, demonstrated by a Snapchat-exclusive Adidas shoe pre-release which sold out in six hours.
Shoppable Snap ads were recently rolled out, allowing users to quickly access external commerce sites and buy in a few clicks, without leaving the app. And Snapchat Pixel – the platform’s business back-end – now allows cross-platform and website tracking, allowing brands better insight into user behaviour and improved retargeting.
So, video helps showcase your product and brand, whilst improving web traffic, and engaging customers. If it’s a new investment, it’s a good idea to test the waters – try A/B testing on a selection of product or landing pages to see if conversions improve. Drop a small series of product teaser videos or customer reviews on social media. Find use cases for new video technologies that compliment your product or service, like 360 video or AR/VR applications. If video isn’t yet part of your ecommerce strategy, it’s time to start.