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Product photos are consistently found to be the single most important aspect of a product page. Our own eye tracking study found that 25 real shoppers looked at product images first on a product page, without fail. But a newer and less common visual is gaining ground as a selling tool — product video.

One in three shoppers now say they watch product videos all or most of the time when available; 55% on product pages, and 60% on Youtube. As a result, 70% of retailers now offer video on product pages, up from 59%.

Whether for information or entertainment, the numbers prove it: Consumer reliance on and preference for product videos is growing — making multimedia content increasingly important (and beneficial) for retailers.

Product videos increase sales and reduce returns both online and in stores

On average, shoppers who watch product video are 23% more likely to convert. About 57% of consumers say product videos make them more confident in a purchase and less likely to return an item, up from 52% a year before.

And those benefits don’t stop at the digital aisle. While most watch videos at home, half of consumers now say they’ve watched product videos on their smartphone — and 57% did so while researching in a brick-and-mortar store. Encourage this behavior with in-store signage or kiosks. Home Depot, for example, posts QR codes in store aisles that lead to DIY how-to videos and reviews; both to inspire new home improvement products, and to increase consumer confidence that they can easily complete projects themselves.

Tap consumers to scalably produce authentic videos

Over 41% of consumers are more likely to share product videos than other product content. Having as many videos as possible on your site will benefit your brand — but with stretched marketing budgets, how can you scalably produce this valuable content?

Easy: Have consumers create it for you. Written reviews from real product owners are already 12 times more trusted than content from brands. Might the same trust apply to video reviews?

Another form of video reviews, “haul videos,” feature shoppers talking organically about their recent purchases, and are especially popular among teens on Youtube. Four in 10 people who watch a haul video visit whatever store is mentioned (online or off), according to a Google study. Says Lisa Green, head of industry, fashion and luxury brands at Google,

“Haul videos are big and they are growing. We saw more than 34,000 uploads happen just last month, and we’ve been seeing an increase in viewers on haul channels over time.”

Start encouraging consumer-created videos just as you encourage other user-generated content. Auto manufacturer Audi invites consumers to publish their car photos on Instagram, and re-posts the them from its corporate account. Why not take the same action on Youtube? Invite consumers to create their own video reviews and haul videos of your products, and feature them on your corporate social channels.

Loyalty programs will also encourage multimedia consumer reviews. Step2, the largest American manufacturer of preschool toys, saw a 600% increase in product video and image uploads after tying multimedia posts to loyalty points.

Every brand can benefit from product videos, whether brand- or consumer-created. Create and encourage these videos and spread them throughout your site and social to drive sharing and sales.

  • http://twitter.com/txTDM Tara DeMarco

    Hi Brittany, glad you found the post interesting. Thanks for reading!

  • Brittany B

    Hi, Tara,
    Great post! Very interesting stats that we will certainly pass along. I work for a co-creation video channel called Womadz, so all of this information is definitely valuable!

  • http://twitter.com/txTDM Tara DeMarco

    Hi Justin, that 10% stat is really interesting. Retailers need to up that number in a hurry. Apart from retailer-made videos and consumer-created ones, brands should start creating their own product videos for retailers to use, just as they create product descriptions. The more videos, the better, imo.

    Thanks for reading!

  • http://twitter.com/txTDM Tara DeMarco

    Hi Russ, thanks for reading! I totally agree — product videos give you much more information than a static photo.

  • justinfoster

    At Liveclicker, we have a phrase, “Attack the Image.” We state this because a video can be so much more compelling than an image when influencing purchase decisions. After all, until we have virtual reality for e-commerce, video is the closest we can get to the real in-store (or at-home) experience.

    You point out
    70% of retailers now feature videos on product pages. This is great,
    but if one digs deeper, they’ll discover that <10% of all product
    pages feature video, even among the retailers that are using video to
    sell on product pages. I absolutely agree that consumer videos such as the kinds you
    mention are a critical component to upping this number. More automated and flexible production methods also play a critical role.

    More generally,
    mobile has huge potential to drive production of product videos. Some
    of the mobile videos we see will be (and are) consumer videos such as unboxings or haul videos.
    Others, however, will be semi-pro videos produced by retailers, at
    scale. In a way, those videos also bring their own sense of authenticity since they do not adhere to the same production values of completely pro video shoots.

    We're in the early innings of both mobile video and consumer video. It is going to be great to see how both of these trends impact the dynamics of video production in retail. Great post!

  • Russ_Somers

    Thanks Tara – good post, and I appreciate your linking to our research in the Mediapost article. What you suggest certainly fits with what we see as we work with brands to deploy video. The product video is quickly becoming the new product photo.