Today’s e-commerce landscape is filled with obstacles for retailers. There's a growing tendency for consumers to ignore static content, which is driven by the sheer quantity of marketing messages they're exposed to on a daily basis. If you're trying to reach a prospective customer through advertising, you need to be in the top .01 percent (conservatively) for them to remember your message. That statistic sounds absurd, but when the average American consumer is exposed to anywhere from 4,000 to 10,000 ads a day and the majority of them remember less than five ads a week, the numbers check out.
Let’s say you succeeded one way or another and drove a consumer to your website. Now you have to deal with consumers who, on average, have an attention span of 8.25 seconds and only convert at a rate of 2.95 percent. If they show up and see a boring static photo and some product text that goes with it, do you really think they’re going to stick around? Think about the short period of time you have to engage a shopper coupled with the thousands of static, one-way communication messages they’ve already seen that day.
Consumers have been bombarded daily by marketers with messaging. If you fail to capture their attention almost immediately, there’s a competitor that’s a Google search away from delivering the experience that you couldn’t. Even if you manage to get lucky and catch their attention with your static content, lightning won’t strike twice and you won't be as lucky when they come back and encounter a similar message.
Engaging Content is Key
Despite the substantial challenges facing the retail industry today, investing your time and effort into capturing and keeping the attention of your customers online is worth it. After all, e-commerce is growing at 23 percent year-over-year, so there’s a recipe for success out there. Engaging, value-added video content has a proven track record of converting shoppers into buyers. Video excels in several of the areas that static media falters; consumers want to see it, it engages them, it’s sharable and the messages actually resonate with them. Data backs this up:
- By 2019, 80 percent of internet traffic will be video.
- The average user spends 88 percent more time on a website with video.
- Social video generates 1,200 percent more shares than text and images combined.
- Viewers retain 95 percent of a message when they watch it in a video vs. 10 percent when reading text.
- Companies, including retailers, that use video as a component of their e-commerce strategy grow revenue 49 percent faster than nonvideo companies.
Harnessing the Power of Video
Deploying any new e-commerce strategy is an undertaking; deploying a new strategy that involves creating video content can seem downright daunting. However, it doesn’t have to be if you take an organized, thoughtful approach.
First, determine your budget. A common concern associated with loading an e-commerce site with video content is the costs that come with video production companies. Although fancy videos are terrific assets if you can afford them, if you can’t, you can still capitalize on video’s potential. Leverage content from brands you carry or produce basic, in-house product review content to provide shoppers with a comprehensive snapshot of your products’ features and benefits.
Next, determine what type of video content will matter most to your target customers. If your company sells women's apparel, perhaps it makes the most sense to create videos of women modeling various items of clothing so consumers get an idea of the look and feel of the garment. If your business sells sporting goods, you could opt to engage shoppers with videos of products in use. Or what about a retailer of home goods posting a helpful furniture assembly how-to video? The options for creative, engaging content are endless.
Lastly, post videos where they matter most to the consumer. This means adding video content to a few specific areas of your website where it see the most traction. These include your homepage, category pages and product pages. Strategic positioning of video content will offer the best results. Videos engage visitors, improve SEO and boost conversion rates by three times to five times.
No matter what video strategy you decide to deploy, the time is now. Static media can be a component of your e-commerce strategy, but it alone simply won’t hold the attention of today’s consumer. Engaging video content will help retailers aiming to capture consumer attention, which is the first step to get to the top .01 percent.
Matt Babineau is the vice president of product marketing at TVPage, a video commerce cloud platform.
As the VP of Product Marketing, Matt Babineau brings extensive experience to TVPage with both product and web-based marketing. Prior to joining TVPage, Babineau was Corporate Marketing Technology Director at Emcore (following the acquisition of Opticomm). At Opticomm, Babineau was instrumental in developing an Online Configuration System that drove a community around the company’s configurable platform, almost tripling sales in less than one year. Babineau holds a registered US patent involving the viewing of rich media content over the web.