3 Video Lessons From Startup Joyus
How has Joyus, the San Francisco-based video shopping platform startup that's raised more than $19 million in funding, been able to realize success from its use of online video? Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, chairman and founder of Joyus, explained how via three lessons during her keynote presentation at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition in Chicago yesterday.
Joyus is a video-meets-social-meets-online-shopping destination that makes short videos with experts talking about highly curated lifestyle products in beauty, fashion and fitness, and sells them to a core demographic of urban, 30- to 45-year-old women.
Cassidy said Joyus’ video view conversion rate (VVCR) ranges from 0.5 percent to 5.5 percent. In addition, its average revenue per video (RPV) is 83 cents, meaning every thousand video views produces $830 in direct sales revenue. (Joyus shares a percentage of the sales on its site with its merchants.)
Singh Cassidy is comfortable in the online technology industry. A six-year veteran of Google, she served as the search company's president of Asia Pacific and Latin American operations. After stints on the board of directors at J.Crew and style website Polyvore, as well as a year as CEO-in-residence at venture capital firm Accel Partners, Singh Cassidy launched Joyus in September 2011 with $7.9 million in unattributed funding led by Accel.
3 Online Video Lessons
Online video is integral to the success of Joyus. Singh Cassidy offered the audience at IRCE three tips for using video more effectively on e-commerce sites:
1. Find your "hero" products. The concept of a hero product is a term used to describe a company's cult products — i.e., best-sellers. "Hero products usually offer a solution to a problem, and in the beauty business that translates very well in video," Singh Cassidy said.
A hero product should also be a discovery product — i.e., it's something consumers can't easily find elsewhere. "You don't want [your hero product] to just be window-dressing for Amazon," Singh Cassidy said. "There's great value in having products from emerging brands on your site that no one may have heard of yet."
Finally, hero products promoted via video should be versatile. "You'll want to focus on products that most consumers would be interested in watching and enjoy," Singh Cassidy said.
2. Learn to story sell, not story tell. When creating a video story around your brand, be sure to create a brand voice on camera. "Cultivate an expert who can establish credibility and affinity with your brand," Singh Casidy said. "You'll want someone who people will come back to again and again. They need to be trusted partners."
How do you find customers like this? "Look for people inside your company who are experts and who look good on camera," Singh Cassidy said. "Use a salesperson, personal shopper, your CEO … whomever represents your brand the best." However, Singh Cassidy warned against hiring people who are "camera ready" first. "We always hire experts first and then train them how to be video ready, not the other way around."
In terms of other video storytelling best practices, Singh Cassidy said it's best to include only one product to four products in a video, but that one product per video really works best. "Single-product videos always outperform [multiple-product videos]," she said. In addition, have three unique selling points for each product featured in your video, and make sure each video runs 30 seconds to three minutes. "We've had videos on our site that ran 10 minutes that were successful, but in general, shorter ones work better," Singh Cassidy said.
3. Capture maximum return on investment via aggressive distribution. Singh Cassidy said that Joyus puts a concerted effort into getting its videos out there for public consumption. "We distribute videos organically through our site, via emails to our customers, through native adverting, and through video ads."
As for the future, Singh Cassidy said Joyus’ next steps include creating a video commerce marketplace and experimenting more heavily with Smart TV technology.