News Feature | March 21, 2014

Online Video Becomes Key Part Of Retailers' E-Commerce Strategies

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By Anna Rose Welch, Director, Cell & Gene Collaborative
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E-Commerce Strategies In Retail With Online Video

Apparel brand Alice + Olivia finds online videos on e-commerce site have ROI

In an attempt to keep shoppers online and more engaged, retailers have begun exploring video as a method to showcase items and spark sales. As comScore revealed earlier this year, there is a growing audience for online videos. In December 2013, Americans viewed nearly 35.2 billion video ads and spent 13.2 billion minutes watching video ads. More and more, consumers are looking for new ways to be engaged while shopping on a retailer’s e-commerce site, and posting well-made video content can help draw customers onto a site and encourage more sales. According to Marketing Profs, a recent Invodo study showed that half of all online customers are more confident about their purchase decisions after viewing a product video. The better the video, the more likely a retailer will see customers’ cart sizes increase, Marketing Profs says.

One particular women’s apparel and accessories brand Alice + Olivia has been seeing some success from its latest tests to encourage shopping from videos. According to Internet Retailer, the brand has begun testing a new online video player designed by Galahad called Multipop. This new player strives to add e-commerce functionalities to videos in a way that doesn’t disrupt the video. (Think, for instance, of YouTube ads, which often pop up along the bottom of a video and must be closed in order for the viewer to get an uninterrupted view of the video.) Rather, with this player, shopping and social links are places along the side or below the video. As the Alice + Olivia videos display certain products, the player provides links below and to the right of the video so the shopper can easily click to purchase. These listings also include the item price and its availability.

Alice + Olivia CEO Stacey Bendet tells IR, “We can now give our customers a viewing experience that allows them to not only purchase the exact items they see on screen, but to also push tweets, posts, and more to their social networks.” This new experiment with video has led to some “incredible results,” Bendet says. The two videos have generated a 33 percent click-through-rate and video viewers have remained engaged with the videos, watching each of them through twice. 

More often than not, retailers are finding video a necessary part of an e-commerce site. However, it’s no easy task for a brand to put together these videos to effectively generate returns. Marketing Profs has put together a list of considerations retailers should keep in mind when considering investing in video strategies. For one, a company’s e-commerce infrastructure should include analytics, personalization, mobile, and other features in order to support video content. As social media becomes a key part of retailers’ omni-channel strategies, it is important for brands to make sure that their e-commerce video content is shareable. There is also room to extend video content through other technology-based applications, such as QR codes. Securing brand ambassadors, outsourcing video production, and using the films to generate other presentations and messaging opportunities are also important steps in any video production.

The “first screen” isn’t the focal point of advertising campaigns anymore: hours on digital media now surpass TV viewing time