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Why should online stores utilize product videos?

Product videos are the next best thing to having your customer pick up a product and study it in a brick-and-mortar store. For online stores, product videos provide customers with a fluid, 360-degree view of the product that lets them see it in action. This additional perspective can instill customer confidence to follow through on the purchase.

Product Videos Increase Conversion

Shoppers who view a video are 1.8 times more likely to make a purchase than non-viewers, according to Video Statistics: The Marketer's Summary 2014. People who watch videos report that they're better able to retain information about a product, and in an eye-mapping study of search engine results pages, video results commanded more attention than text-based results.

With videos, customers are also less likely to make returns because they understand upfront exactly what the product is and how it works. And the benefits extend beyond that individual customer, as videos are more likely to be shared than text-based product pages.

Given video's appeal for shoppers and retailers alike, it's no surprise that video's role in online search will continue to expand. Videos made up 64 percent of all consumer Internet traffic in 2014, according to Cisco Systems, but the IT giant predicts that video will account for a full 80 percent of consumer internet traffic by 2019.

Types of Product Videos

How can you make sure your online store doesn't miss out on this exploding trend? Product videos can be generally broken down into three types: general overviews, product demos, and behind-the-scenes that shows how a product was made. Use this detailed breakdown of each video to determine which is best for you and how to approach them.

Best practices for product videos

Before you roll camera, consider these best practices to make sure your product videos deliver the best results.

Prioritize your products. Keep in mind that you don't have to create a video for every single product in your online store to reap the benefits of incorporating product videos into your ecommerce marketing strategy. But because you're likely working with a finite video budget and schedule, make sure you start with videos for your products that are the most popular and that earn you the most money. Create a video gallery. In addition to posting product videos on the individual product pages, think about collecting them together into one section on your website. This makes it easier for customers who love watching videos to watch multiple product videos—and consider multiple product purchases. Include a call-to-action. When the product video is displayed on a product page in your online store, a call to action might seem almost redundant. But it's not. Ending a video with a reminder to make a purchase can move the momentum of a purchasing decision forward. And remember that product videos may easily wind up being viewed away from the product page, either in a video gallery on your site or on a third-party site like YouTube. Including a call to action and a link to purchase at the end of a video makes sure you can guide your customers to the checkout—no matter where the video is watched. Optimize the videos for SEO. Take the time to implement metadata, including description tags and video title. Enable commenting and sharing to boost customer engagement, with the added SEO benefit of additional on-page content. Consider user generated content. Videos shot and uploaded from customers won't work for every ecommerce business, but with effective quality controls they can be a cheap, easy way to dramatically increase the number of videos in your online store.

For more tips on increasing sales with product videos, see the Bigcommerce blog post on executing a product video strategy.

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