Elevate Existing Video to Add Holiday Bling
November 7, 2011 Leave a Comment
By now, your site may be on “lockdown” for the holidays, with no major new features or functionality set to debut until early 2012. But that doesn’t mean you’re out of options for adding flair to existing content — and a particularly effective way to do so is with video.
Online video usage continues to soar, with ComScore estimating that a staggering 85.3% of U.S. online consumers watched a video on the Internet in September of 2011. Merchants have responded to this behavior by offering more and more video, with 63.2% of merchants in the 2011 Internet Retailer 500 reporting that they have a presence on the social video site YouTube — a 17% jump compared with the 2010 Internet Retailer 500.
While the peak holiday season is not the time to produce new videos, merchants with footage already in hand can do more to make the most of it — and all sellers can elevate their game by soliciting user-generated video content.
As this graphic from industry researcher Forrester shows, merchants can leverage a bevy of existing content – from existing TV campaigns to manufacturer-supplied videos – to boost a brand’s video presence.
Forrester recommends a tiered approach, using social networks to create and increase awareness and the eCommerce site to spur purchasing. But within the eCommerce site alone, there are still more ways to maximize video visibility. Consider these updates of tried-and-true eCommerce concepts:
The tried-and-true feature: Collections
The video version: Static and video content merge beyond the product detail page
For the most part, until now merchants have focused on adding video to product detail pages, as a way to deepen product content. Footage typically includes a demonstration of how to use or assemble the product and/or an overview of features and benefits.
But but by featuring and spotlighting product videos more broadly throughout the eCommerce site, merchants can maximize the bang for their video investment buck — and engage shoppers at every point along the path to purchase with compelling content. For example, Armani Exchange offers a series of videos on the category page for its Denim Shop for women.
The videos include how-to information such as measuring for a perfect fit and a “How to Wear It” guide that lets viewers “shop this video.” Links to featured items are embedded on the screen, both via the filmstrip presentation below the video window and within the footage itself, using pulsing blue targets shoppers can click to view product details. It’s an updated version of the static “collections” of yore.
While creating such an elaborate display may not be feasible now in time for the holiday rush, the general concept — mixing static and video content in new locations — is within reach. Consider
- using a category page fill slot for video related to the other merchandising on the page
- adding an icon or flag to search results and index pages to indicate a product has a video associated with it
- featuring product video on the home page in conjunction with a spotlight offer
The tried-and-true feature: Buying guides
The video version: A collection of videos starring expert staff
Especially during the holidays, shoppers are looking for guidance on gift ideas — giving merchants an opportunity to build brand credibility by showcasing staff expertise. These videos needn’t be elaborate, and could address everything from staff gift picks to purchase considerations for big-ticket items. Outdoor retailer REI presents expert advice videos on its winter gear category page, with a pop-up display that features a staff member wearing a store uniform (the green vest) explaining technology and purchase considerations.
If you have a substantial collection of how-to and expert advice videos, consider taking it a step further and aggregating them all in a separate section of the eCommerce site — or even on a separate microsite, as Best Buy does with its “On Best Buy” channel. Videos on picking the right electronics, as well as video game and movie previews, are presented on a dedicated microsite, with links back to the main BestBuy.com site.
The tried-and-true feature: Customer reviews
The video version: Video customer reviews
Nearly one in three merchants use video customer reviews, with another 25% planning to deploy them in 2011-2012, according to a June report from Forrester. And with good reason: not only can they attract input from shoppers who prefer to record video instead of typing out their opinions, but they provide merchants with compelling product content. Like static customer reviews, video reviews let shoppers focus on product features and highlights that matter most to them — lending credibility to product benefits like no marketing copy can.
To incorporate customer video reviews, make the process highly visible, quick and easy. Beauty manufacturer Get Super embeds customer product reviews into the main image space on the product detail page — and includes a link to “Record Your Product Review” right beneath that window, making it quick for customers with a webcam installed to shoot and upload footage on the spot.
How are you using video to drive engagement and sales this holiday season, and do you see video as a top priority for 2012?