A moving purchase: Explainer videos for e-commerce success

Where do you shop when you need a new monitor or the perfect pair of running shoes? Today, most of the web users shop online.

And why wouldn’t you? There’s an enormous range of products, it’s easy to compare prices, and home delivery is convenient. By doing away with crowded High Streets, waiting at tills, and queuing for changing rooms, this makes shopping a more relaxing experience.

At least for customers, that is. For online retailers, the wide-ranging competition and the convenience of comparison shopping pose a serious challenge. So e-commerce success is all about standing out and making a good impression. After all, dissatisfaction and criticism have never spread more quickly.

Once an e-commerce company has done its duty – ensuring user-friendliness and a simple ordering process – it all comes down to the consumers’ choice of which shop to patronize and whose e-commerce success to build.

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How is that choice made? What role do (explainer) videos play in it?

Presentation: Placing the product centre stage

In a study by Internet World, around half of Internet-using respondents said that a product presentation with 360° views and videos affected their decision to purchase.
Unlike item photos alone, videos allow products to be presented much more realistically and even emotionally. When it comes to innovative products above all, a good story can improve conversion rates and bring e-commerce success.

Of course, this isn’t just a good way to showcase products and explain what they’re for. Videos are great at illuminating more complex sequences such as ordering processes, sharing background information on production processes, describing services and answering FAQs. This will reduce the number of aborted check-outs and ease the pressure off the service centre.

Customer loyalty: Inspiring trust

One major downside of online shopping: there’s no salesperson to greet the customer, to personalise and humanise the shopping experience, to explain products calmly and to build trust. Obviously, a video cannot fully replace a human salesperson. That said, the fact that many online shoppers have more trust in products they have watched a video about shows that it’s a good alternative in order to achieve successful e-commerce.

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Purchasing decisions: Persuasion in motion

Apparently, purchasing decisions are taken more quickly than we think. While our conscious minds are still wavering, within 2.5 seconds our subconscious has already decided whether or not we should take the plunge. (Moving) images put this time window to better advantage, as our brains process them much more quickly than textual information.

Avoiding returns: Good explanations reduce disappointment

It’s obvious. Often, incomplete or erroneous product descriptions and emails lead to returns, which can become expensive for any e-commerce business. The more precisely and clearly a product is explained, the more likely the customers are to hold onto the product in the end – because they know what they are getting.

SEO: Collect bonus points from Google

Google loves videos. So incorporating moving images improves search result rankings, which in turn can be decisive for success in e-commerce.

Dissemination: “Shareability” is key

Videos are the emerging format for content and are eagerly shared in social media (when they’re done well). So herein lies the opportunity to extend your reach through “shares” and recommendations, winning over new customers.

Simply convenient: Capture the couch potatoes.

Millennials prefer to consume content by watching videos rather than reading text. Some young consumers are annoyed straight away if they have to read a long product description to find the information they are looking for. Reading text is strenuous, unlike watching videos. So if you want to reach the couch potato market for your e-commerce success, product videos are your best bet.

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The nice thing is, once you’ve produced the videos, you can use them not only in your shop, but also in your email and social media marketing. Now you get an impression that videos are on the rise – just like your e-commerce business, provided you take best advantage of the promising format of video. 🙂



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