The State of Video in Ecommerce

Linc Wonham
by Linc Wonham 14 Mar, 2011


Online video solutions provider SundaySky recently released a telling report about how the Web's biggest retailers utilize the power of video. Or, more to the point, how they are failing to do so.


According to SundaySky's The State of Video in Ecommerce, released last month and citing data from the fourth quarter of 2010, nearly half of the world's top 50 online merchants have no significant video presence. While many of them may have begun to add video on their websites - which the study concludes was the focus for many retailers in 2010 - few of them are taking proper advantage of the opportunities the medium affords them, which should be a primary focus of 2011.


In terms of conversion rates, online videos can lead merchants to higher sales on a wider range of products, increase their websites' stickiness and reduce return rates, to name just a few advantages. For SEO purposes, video results rank higher in searches than other content and drives more traffic to retail sites. Finally, YouTube has been the world's second-leading search engine since 2008 and is currently the fourth overall property on the entire Web.


Using YouTube as the primary barometer, 16 percent of the top 50 had fewer than 10 videos on YouTube, 42 percent had between 10 and 100, 34 percent had between 100 and 1,000, and 8 percent had greater than 1,000. If a YouTube presence is defined as more than 100 videos, that means that less than half of the top 50 retailers are taking full advantage of YouTube.


Three companies praised in the study for their use of video are Overstock, Newegg and All three are considered pioneers in the space for launching video portals alongside their main websites, and ranked third behind the Home Shopping Network (72,556) and Systemax (3,537) with 2,731 videos on YouTube at the time of the study. Newegg, meanwhile, saw its views on YouTube jump 133 percent from the third quarter of 2010 to the fourth.


Some of the suggestions for retailers offered by SundaySky include scaling product videos to include everything in one's catalog; applying even simple video SEO methods such as proper embedding and a video sitemap, and syndicating videos to not only YouTube but also to other channels such as Facebook fan pages.