Your Customers Are Engaging With Video. Are You?
Ever since the beginning of the global pandemic, video has become the de facto channel for engaging with, well, just about everyone. Whether it’s your grandmother on Zoom or your grandson taking online classes, most people use video technology in their daily lives. In 2019, the global video streaming market was valued at more than $42 billion, with projected growth to be at more than 20 percent CAGR from 2020 to 2027. When you factor in the growth of social media channels that include video, such as TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube, it’s clear that retailers need to prioritize video as a way to strengthen customer engagement.
In fact, according to a recent survey of 1,500 Gen Z consumers by Agora, more than half (51 percent) say they would be more likely to engage with a brand or company that uses interactive live videos and experiences to connect with audiences.
The ability to leverage video to connect with customers has, in part, led to a dramatic increase in online shopping. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce Retail Indicator Division, global e-commerce sales increased by 50 percent during the pandemic and are expected to continue to grow. It’s clear that global consumer shopping habits have permanently changed, with customers now expecting a personalized experience when they shop online, something that has very much become the norm with more access to consumer data.
Retailers looking for advantages to crush their competition and build a strong customer case should strongly consider incorporating video technology into the sales process. Consider these three strategies to increase engagement with your customers:
1. Practice holistic selling.
For many shoppers, it’s not just about the item they’re purchasing, it’s about the experience. When it comes to online shopping, there’s much more to enticing a customer than simply posting a picture of the item. One video I saw was about a fancy blender and it quickly caught my eye. Why? Because the person demonstrating how the blender worked showed viewers different recipes based on a variety of ingredients. Nice, but not exactly groundbreaking.
What was unique was that the video included pop-up images of the items being used, where you could find them online, and the dishware that was being used, as well as reviews of the items. The goal was to make it easy for viewers to see how versatile the blender is, but also help educate shoppers about the other items and where they could buy them.
2. Leverage interactive experiences.
I’ve always been a fan of Nordstrom, mainly because of its customer service and how its salespeople treat me as a shopper. But in the age of online shopping and video, how can a department store offer this same type of service? As it turns out, Nordstrom has mastered this strategy.
I can go onto the Nordstrom website and do a search for items in which I'm interested. But a picture only tells me so much about the actual item. For clothing, I want to know what the garment feels like or how light or heavy it is. The beauty of Nordstrom is that a salesperson will appear on video and explain the item to me, touch it and let me know what the material feels like, and tell me if the item runs large or small. Having that individualized touch and creating a “show and tell” environment definitely helps close the sale.
3. Be a resource for customers post-purchase.
While printed manuals offer a road map for customers to put together their new purchase, let’s face it, the tiny text and distorted product images usually add to a customer’s frustration when they can’t assemble or program their new gadget. Enter the world of video!
Companies can easily upload “how to” videos that show customers how to assemble their new product or help troubleshoot issues. For digital natives, who have grown up with technology at their fingertips, this service is table stakes — retailers simply must have it. If your tutorial video is out of date or lacks an interactive component, you’ll be exposed. Take the time to do an excellent job on tutorial videos and be sure to keep them short. Think of self-help YouTube videos.
Closing the Sale
Video is an easy way to showcase the best aspects of the items you're selling, provide additional ideas that the shopper not have considered, and offer tutorials to combat any difficulties that your customers may encounter post-purchase. Providing a frictionless purchase experience improves how customers view your company and its products, and creates a seamless customer experience that greatly increases the odds of turning the customer into a repeat customer.
Stephanie Reeves Millner is executive vice president, strategic CX solutions and partnerships at Teleperformance, a leading global group in digitally integrated business services.
Stephanie Reeves Millner is the Executive Vice President, Strategic CX Solutions and Partnerships at Teleperformance, a leading global group in digitally integrated business services.