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11 Reasons eCommerce Video Can Help Sell Online

Still wondering if you should be using explainer videos for your e-commerce site? Don’t wait much longer, because the verdict is in. Online video is big business and the smart money is on it getting even bigger in the next couple of years. Take the example of GoPromotional, a UK promotional products company. The company decided to create product videos for 4,000 products and saw:

  • a 100% increase in conversions from visitors watching videos
  • a 7.5% increase in overall conversions
  • SEO improvements

Here’s one example of a GoPromotional video:

The truth is that if you don’t have video on your e-commerce site, you could be missing out – big time! Not convinced? Here are 11 reasons e-commerce video can help you sell more online.

1. Using eCommerce Video Improves Conversions by 85%

Let’s start with a bunch of stats courtesy of Tipping Point Labs, showing that using video on your site improves conversions by up to 85%, helps SEO, increases email click through rates by 96% and reduces product returns by a quarter. Those should add up to some pretty good financials, don’t you think? Check out the rest of the stats on eCommerce Video Conversion Rates & Statistics.

2. The Top Online Retailers Use Video

At nearly half way through the year, it’s time to look at the trends foreseen by Practical e-commerce at the end of last year. So far, they are spot on with an increase in content video from e-tailers (in fact most of the top online retailers use video to boost revenue) and increasing use of product video.  Another prediction is the use of video advertising – something to consider when thinking about possible users for explainer videos. See more trends in 3 Video Trends to Watch in 2013.

3. Customers Love Educational Videos

Next up are some insights on how using video improves the shopping experience for consumers. The stats in this press release show that videos that educate and demonstrate (otherwise known as explainer videos) capture customer attention. According to the research, 61% of tablet owners watched video in the three months prior to the survey (more on that in a moment) and half of customers have more confidence in products when they see a video. Get more insights in Invodo Shares Insights On Delivering Superior Shopping Experiences Via Video.

4. Video is Popular with Mobile Users

Mobile Video

I said I’d get back to the mobile trend, which everyone knows is huge. Mobile devices have already outstripped desktops in popularity and smartphones are almost everywhere. Even after takeup reaches saturation point in North America and Europe, there’s a huge amount of the world’s population who have yet to switch from feature phones, making the potential mobile market even bigger. Why is this important? Because as the article points out, mobile users find video more accessible than tiny textual descriptions and information-rich too. See more in Why Mobile Video Is Essential For eCommerce.

5. Younger Consumers Watch More Video Than TV

Supporting that viewpoint is this article on Treepodia showing that younger people – who have a lot of spending power and are the next generation of consumers – are watching less TV and more online video. And they are also looking for stuff they can share – and there’s no reason why your e-commerce video shouldn’t tick that box. Find out more in New Generation, New Media, New Expectations – Is Your Video Engaging?.

6. Product Videos Rock for Omnichannel Shoppers

The prevalence of mobile devices has turned consumers into omnichannel shoppers – looking for product information in multiple online channels. The article cites research from Invodo stating that 40% of shoppers are more likely to make a mobile purchase if they have access to product videos. That means that companies need to have compelling visual offerings – video – on all the channels where people search. Learn more in Who Are Omnichannel Shoppers? And Why Is Video Crucial to Them?.

7. eCommerce Videos Make Visitors Buy

online shopping conversion

Want to make sure that people buy – or make it more likely that they will? This article on Reel SEO shows how Paintball achieved an increase of 1 percentage point in purchases when they used product demo videos. And people stayed on each page for a couple of minutes rather than a few seconds. Jeremy Scott says: “There are customers to impress and sales to be made, and the sites with video are in the driver’s seat.”Find out more in E-Commerce Product Videos Convert Visitors Into Buyers: A Case Study.

8. 160% Conversion Improvement for Pages with Video

Here’s another case study, this time from SwellPath, showing how Ariat used analytics to measure the impact of using video on product pages. The company found that conversion on pages with video was 160% higher than normal – that adds up to a lot of traffic and revenue. See the rest of the case study in Tracking the Effect of Product Videos on eCommerce Conversions.

9. Increased Sales, Reduced Returns

This presentation from Bronto Software outlines a number of benefits of video for sites of any size and presents a number of case studies showing how using video has benefited businesses. For example, Zappos saw the amount of merchandise sold increase by 30% while saw a 25% reduction in products returned. The most interesting aspect is the section on using video among multiple channels. See the whole presentation: Video for eCommerce: Drive more revenue and customer engagement.

10. Consumers Share Videos on Social Media

Social Media Video
10. Consumers Share Videos on Social Media

Want to know more about what video can do for your business? Econsultancy talks about the SEO and engagement benefits. But the key takeaway is the use of videos for “curated commerce” as users pin videos to sites like Pinterest and then share them more widely. With Pinterest a major driver of sales, this is something brands can’t ignore. This article also supports the replacement of product images by animated product videos and hints at how user generated videos can help to drive sales. Find out more in How video can improve eCommerce results.

11. eCommerce videos reinvent the buyer’s guide

It’s back to Econsultancy for the final tip in today’s roundup. Among the eight uses for online video listed here is a real gem – using it to provide information about the product category as well as product selection advice. In other words, it’s the buyer’s guide brought to life. Get some more examples in Eight different ways of using product videos in e-commerce.

Sounds like a good way to use an explainer video.


11 benefits of e-commerce video:

  • improves conversions by 85%
  • is used successfully by the top online retailers
  • is educational and appeals to customers
  • is popular with mobile users
  • appeals to younger consumers
  • caters to omnichannel shoppers
  • makes visitors buy
  • helped Swellpath boost conversions by 160% conversion on certain pages
  • leads to increased sales and reduced returns
  • is shareable on social media
  • reinvents the buyer’s guide

Are you using video on your e-commerce site? What results have you found?

Written by Sharon Hall
Sharon Hurley Hall is a professional writer and blogger. Her career has spanned more than 25 years, including stints as a journalist, academic writer and ghost writer. Connect with Sharon on her website.