Is the time now ripe for videos in ecommerce?

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For nearly ten years, it’s seemed like we were on the cusp of videos being a critical component of ecommerce listings. But it’s fair to say that the brave new world has never truly emerged although it’s true that you do see videos on ecommerce sites more and more.

A report from Invodo, however, makes a compelling case for the benefits of using video on ecommerce sites. There’s an ebook report to download but I’ve picked out a few choice cuts that I thought were interesting.

– 96% of shoppers find videos helpful when making purchase decisions online.
– Video viewers on ecommerce sites are 1.6x more likely to buy than non-viewers.
– According to Cisco, video will represent 79% of global web traffic by 2018.
– What happens in just one minute? 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube, and 323 days of video are viewed on Facebook.
– Mobile video traffic will grow 14x by 2018. And smartphones and tablets already account for over a quarter of all online video viewing!

What are your experiences of using video in ecommerce listings as either a seller or a buyer?

2 Responses

  1. Videos do add value however marketplaces need to look in adding it in more prominent place (e.g. similar to Amazon – next to images). Not many people these days scroll down to descriptions so exposure on top of the page would help conversion.

  2. it definitely has its place, i’m using video on a handful of ebay listings, where its merited.

    many items a video does not add anything, and in these cases, it detracts.

    i feel video would give a better idea for colour. we all know that images on the net might not match up with real life, but often you only see from one angle, under one particular light, which doesnt help the situation any.
    with video you can move the camera, and therefore see a wider range of the same colour under different viewing lights & angles.

    but i also fear it will be abused. when i search google for an answer to something, i usually want the answer to be succinct and to the point, but the first ten results will usually be 15-minute youtube videos with introductions and credits. i dont want to spend 15-minutes waiting for a 3-word answer.

    video e-commerce will follow a similar vein – first minute long intros, shop gubbins, maybe ads, manufacturer logo, then basically zero product info, followed by ‘view our other items’, news of a sale that finished six months ago, etc etc etc

    you cant really ‘scan’ or proof-read a video. we should be careful how we use this new medium, but we won’t be, we shall abuse it til everyone hates it, then do away with it almost completely.

    if we figured how long a customer spent looking at an ebay listing intitially (sure ebay already knows down to the nano-second), and compare that to the average e-commerce video length, this discrepency may become more apparent.


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