Why Your eCommerce Website Needs Video to Tell Your Story

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10-22-2014 | By: Ben Cecil

Imagine this scenario:  you’re searching websites to buy a new bike.  The first site you visit has lots of heavy text, product details, specs, and maybe a couple photos of a bike.  The second site you visit has a 5-minute video that features the owner of the sport shop enthusiastically talking up your bike, fast-moving images, and the bike in action, cruising down the street, racing up and down dirt trails, all to some killer background music.  Which would grab your attention?  Which would make you want to buy?

No-brainer, right?  That’s because video sells products better than text alone.  And that’s more than hearsay—it’s the conclusion of a spate of recent studies, including those from ComScore, Internet Retailer and eMarketer.  According to those studies:

A product video makes consumers 64% more likely to make a purchase

More than half of marketers say video has a higher return on investment than any other marketing strategy

Almost 75% of commerce sites are now using product videos

More than half of online shoppers agree that seeing a product video increases their trust and confidence in the product they’re reviewing

Engaging Viewer Emotions

So, now you have your new bike.  When your friends and coworkers ask you why you bought it, you’ll probably give them a lot of product details and tell them why those features make it superior to other bikes on the market.  But that’s not the real reason you bought the bike.  You bought it because you connected with the company’s brand and what the purchase says about you—that you’re active, healthy and living the good life.

The truth is, people buy based on emotion, then justify their purchases based on logic.  They buy because they connect with a story, a narrative about a product that they want to be part of.  And that’s why video is so powerful as compared to dry text.  Video is the ultimate medium for telling stories and conveying powerful emotions.

That said, here are 4 ways in which video storytelling enhances ecommerce marketing efforts:

  1. Enhanced conversions:  professionally-produced video increases conversion rates by up to 30%, according to one study.
  2. Improved search rankings:  video will drive more online shoppers to an ecommerce site.  According to a study from Forrester, pages which include video are about 50 times more likely to end up on the first page of search results in Google.
  3. Expanded marketing opportunities:  because of the popularity of video and of channels like YouTube and Vimeo, video expands marketing opportunities.  Posting videos there, as well as on social networking sites, also provides the opportunity to link back to you website, further increasing web traffic.
  4. Ramped up mobile marketing:  in 2013, sales of mobile devices outpaced those of PCs for the first time.  Video is an ideal format for mobile devices, delivering content which comports well with the smaller footprint of smart phones and tablets.

People are more likely to buy products if those products make them feel good about themselves.  The best way to do that is to tell a compelling story with which purchases identify and in which they can picture themselves participating.  And the best way to tell compelling stories is with compelling videos.


About the Author

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Ben Cecil

Ben is UPG's Strategy Director and has been crafting video campaigns for more than 10 years. Before UPG, Ben spent 7 years in local television, helping cultivate, deploy and measure branding efforts on broadcast and new media platforms. Ben hates boring video and loves chasing around his 2 year old son.

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