Internet retailers are discovering video's versatility and how they can be used as more than just
replacements for product page photos. Today, e-commerce brands are seeing the real value that
videos can bring to their SEO programs, social media campaigns and mobile strategies, as online
shoppers have become primed to watch more video, not to mention create their own to share with
their shopping peers. Below are some predictions for video’s future impact on the e-commerce world.
Curated commerce opens its arms to video: Sites
like Polyvore and Pinterest have quickly grown massive
audiences by allowing users to “curate” their
own collections of images based on whatever categories
they choose: wedding themes, fashion, home
décor, celebrities and musicians, you name it. It
makes sense that these sites will welcome video
“pinning” and encourage users to add videos to their
collections in the future.
When Pinterest launched, it didn’t allow brands
to offer pinboards, but the social site announced in
Nov. 2012 that it would offer business accounts.
This change makes it the perfect time for online
brands to create Pinterest pinboards and a presence
on other curated commerce sites, as well as to take
advantage of their video capabilities.
Big changes in video SEO: Forward-thinking e-commerce
businesses understand that adding product
videos to their websites can help raise their SEO
profile, since Google has shown a preference for
videos in its search rankings. However, e-commerce
businesses that indiscriminately add videos to their
sites and consider their job done, need to think twice.
Sites like Google and the Google-owned
YouTube are continually retooling their search algorithms
for video, seeking the best ways to present
information that their users want. For instance, in Oct. 2012, YouTube announced it would rank videos
based on “watch time,” offering higher rankings to
videos that are watched for longer periods instead
of just those viewed for a few brief seconds. Expect
video hosting sites to continue to make changes in
their search algorithms, as they figure out consumers'
insatiable appetite for video.
Videos find their way into digital marketing: When
you’ve gone through the expense and trouble of creating
videos, you want to use them as much as possible.
Expect to see more merchants broaden their
video use beyond their product pages. For example,
they can add videos on social networks and SEO
landing pages, create more robust YouTube or Vimeo
channels and include video snapshots in email
Maximize Video's Exposure
Video is an area of immense, yet relatively untapped, potential. One of the
reasons is that few existing solutions truly enable brands to maximize their
exposure. Startup vidIQ, a SaaS-based enterprise-level audience development
suite designed to help YouTube marketers increase their views and
subscribers, hopes to change that. What makes the vidIQ platform so interesting from a brand marketing
perspective is that it incorporates most, if not all, of the essential elements of
a successful video campaign. The platform offers a database of relational
YouTube search trends that recommends the best tags, listening tools to help
accurately identify influencers, an analytics engine to break down viewer and
engagement metrics, automation mechanisms for scheduling videos at the
optimal time and collaborative workflows, so marketers can work with other
members of their team on the platform. vidIQ already successfully manages more than 10 billion views, primarily
serving agencies, larger networks and global brands, including AOL, Mondo
Media and Revision3.
Videos will gain in popularity in expanding
e-commerce markets: Brazil’s e-commerce market,
for example, is booming. It grew 26 percent in
2011 with similar results projected for 2013. On
the other side of the globe, China’s e-commerce
sector is expected to triple in size over the next
three years. Savvy e-commerce businesses in these
hot markets will adopt the strategies that have been
used by companies in established markets (e.g. the
U.S. and the U.K.). Since video has proven useful
in helping online businesses attract visitors and improve
conversions, we can expect the same in these
Videos replace product images: Static product images
are outdated, because they don’t engage modern
consumers and tell a product’s story adequately.
The space that still photos takes up on your product
pages is valuable real estate, so what you place there
should work harder.
Videos can do so much more than pictures to
capture a consumer’s attention, which is why we expect
to see more e-commerce businesses replace
photos with videos in 2013. Even simple slideshows
composed of still images are far more engaging and
can impart more information to help close a sale.
Mobile sites exchange product pages with videos:
When shoppers using mobile devices are browsing
for products, particularly if they are doing price or
feature comparisons at a brick-and-mortar location, they are less inclined to scroll around a mobile product
page to find the specs or feature descriptions
they need. On the other hand, videos have become
easier to watch on mobile screens, thanks to greater
bandwidth and better compression technology. Plus,
if executed well, a video will include all the details
that a mobile shopper needs, such as price, color and
size options and availability. E-commerce businesses
will find it makes sense to offer videos, rather than
product pages, to mobile customers.
Brands encourage user-generated videos: Since
consumers trust their peers and want to hear their
genuine opinions, videos created by customers will
often have more impact than brand-made
videos. Therefore, e-commerce companies
will make a greater effort to obtain
and incorporate user-generated
videos into their websites. Fortunately,
YouTube is helping. In Dec. 2012, the
website introduced its Capture app, which
lets users share videos directly from their
ALSO READ: Video Startups to Watch
Which up-and-comers are changing the way e-commerce businesses use video? Find out with Website Magazine Guide on Video Startups to Watch in 2013.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Melody King is the VP of Marketing and Sales at
Treepodia and is a Doctor of Management in Organizational
Leadership. She has 13 years of experience
in IT, focusing the last seven in e-commerce.