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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

    H Brttany, glad you found the post nterestng. Thanks for readng!

  • Brittany B

    H, Tara,
    Great post! Very nterestng stats that we wll certanly pass along. I work for a co-creaton vdeo channel called Womadz, so all of ths nformaton s defntely valuable!

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

    H Justn, that 10% stat s really nterestng. Retalers need to up that number n a hurry. Apart from retaler-made vdeos and consumer-created ones, brands should start creatng ther own product vdeos for retalers to use, just as they create product descrptons. The more vdeos, the better, mo.

    Thanks for readng!

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

    H Russ, thanks for readng! I totally agree — product vdeos gve you much more nformaton than a statc photo.

  • justinfoster

    At Lveclcker, we have a phrase, “Attack the Image.” We state ths because a vdeo can be so much more compellng than an mage when nfluencng purchase decsons. After all, untl we have vrtual realty for e-commerce, vdeo s the closest we can get to the real n-store (or at-home) experence.

    You pont out
    70% of retalers now feature vdeos on product pages. Ths s great,
    but f one dgs deeper, they’ll dscover that <10% of all product
    pages feature vdeo, even among the retalers that are usng vdeo to
    sell on product pages. I absolutely agree that consumer vdeos such as the knds you
    menton are a crtcal component to uppng ths number. More automated and flexble producton methods also play a crtcal role.

    More generally,
    moble has huge potental to drve producton of product vdeos. Some
    of the moble vdeos we see wll be (and are) consumer vdeos such as unboxngs or haul vdeos.
    Others, however, wll be sem-pro vdeos produced by retalers, at
    scale. In a way, those vdeos also brng ther own sense of authentcty snce they do not adhere to the same producton values of completely pro vdeo shoots.

    We're n the early nnngs of both moble vdeo and consumer vdeo. It s gong to be great to see how both of these trends mpact the dynamcs of vdeo producton n retal. Great post!

  • Russ_Somers

    Thanks Tara – good post, and I apprecate your lnkng to our research n the Medapost artcle. What you suggest certanly fts wth what we see as we work wth brands to deploy vdeo. The product vdeo s quckly becomng the new product photo.