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Video Content Boosts Sales

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Videos are making inroads in commerce. More than 180 million U.S. viewers watched 40 billion online videos in January 2012, according to comScore. Retailers are taking note and incorporating video into their eCommerce site content. In fact, video is the fastest growing method of U.S. online ad spending, expected to increase 54.7% in 2012, as reported by eMarketer.

On March 22, 2012, retail executives from The Vitamin Shoppe and Quidsi joined PowerReviews and Liveclicker for a luncheon event to talk about the successful use of video in retail; and the intersection of video and social media.

Liveclicker reported that, in a sample of 10 top videos, nine out of 10 posted interactive videos to Facebook; eight featured sharing enablement from the product page; and nine enabled sharing from a video gallery. The most successfully shared videos integrate social content directly in the video. For example, viewers can click on a “share” or “purchase now” button that is embedded directly in the video.

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When analyzing social channel success, one of the key points for retailers to keep in mind is that “likes” don’t necessarily equal sales, according to Blake Brysha, Senior Marketing Manager for PowerReviews.

Using Gamification To Promote User-Generated Video
For many retailers, user-generated video content can help to successfully promote products. It’s clear that shoppers trust their peers more than they trust companies. So Brysha recommends that merchants encourage consumers to create their own videos to share with other shoppers.

In one example cited by Brysha, retailer Step2 motivates shoppers to create their own videos by incorporating gamification into the process. For example, a shopper can receive 15 bonus points for adding a video to their product review; and they receive another 15 bonus points for posting the review to Facebook.

This strategy resulted in a 10-fold increase in user-generated videos for Step2, a 135% increase in Facebook referral traffic and a 3X increase in revenue from Facebook-referred visitors.

Instructional Videos Spark Shopper Interest
For many retailers, instructional and informational videos are considered more valuable than user-generated content. For example, at Diapers.com, using video to show shoppers how to use a child’s car seat has been a valuable selling tool, noted Josh Himwich, Vice President of eCommerce Solutions for Quidsi, the parent company for Diapers.com and other brands.

Other retailers may want to take advantage of product videos created by their suppliers, which require a substantially lower financial investment compared to internally created video. “Manufacturers cannot wait to give you their videos,” noted Himwich.

At The Vitamin Shoppe, because the vitamin and medicine industry is intensely regulated, the retailer must create its own internal product videos. The Vitamin Shoppe cannot allow unsubstantiated claims from brands to appear on their web site, for example. Nevertheless, the retailer has realized the incremental value of using video, in particular to demo the product and allow shoppers to provide a 360-degree view of the product label.

In A/B testing in five different categories, The Vitamin Shoppe saw “a tremendous lift in new visitor conversion,” according to Scott Anderson, Director of eCommerce. Using an ROI threshold of an 18% increase in revenue per visitor, The Vitamin Shoppe was able to justify a continued investment in video.

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