Think you need to be a big time player to deploy e-commerce video on your business' website?
Adding e-commerce video online is no longer the domain of top retailers. Shrinking costs and increasing benefits of using videoÂ is moving many smaller businesses to give the flexible and entertaining platform a shot.
In fact, 73 percent of online retailers in 2011used video on product pages, a 55 percent increase from 2010, according to research firm eMarketer.
However, uploading a hackneyed, homemade project onto your website isn't likely toÂ improve your ROI, and might even scare away a few potential customers, however with a little effort you can deploy and clearly measure success with four basic metrics — conversion rate, shopping cart abandonment rate,Â site traffic, and view-through rate — and even adjust your efforts accordingly.
Measuring conversion rates
Measuring conversion rates should be top priority for any online entrepreneur. A smartly placed – and produced – video on a product page is a proven way to increase the chances that shoppers end their visit with a purchase.
According to online retailer Zappos, product page videos have increased their online conversions up to 30 percent.
If you're preparing to begin the video process, you should spend time testing to determine what works and what doesn't.
Consider measuring conversion rate data through A/B testing. First create a product page thatÂ includes a video 50 percent of the time the page is served and one that has no video the other 50 percent of the time. Comparing the conversion rate for customers who viewed a video with conversion rates for those that did not have that option will provide you're answer. This type of test could also be used to compare the success different videos.
If you're feeling very testy: Take the analysis one step further by comparing the conversion rate of shoppers who watched at least a portion of the video to the conversion rate for shoppers who did not watch any portion of the video.
No carts left behind
A recent report from eMarketer shows adding video lowered the number of abandoned shopping carts, reduced return rates, and resulted in higher sales.
Shopping cart abandonment is widely thought to be due to customer uncertainty: If you're not Amazon or Zappos, users might hesitant when it comes time to post their credit card information — they either don't trust the merchant; or suddenly are unsure of the product's value; or worse don't understand the product.
The addition of a well-thought out product video can go a long way in shaping shoppers' opinions and proving that your business is legit.
History Tests: Much like measuring conversions, you can gauge the affects product videos have on shopping cart abandonment by comparing historical data, using A/B tests, and monitoring differences in abandonment rates for shoppers who watched compared to those who didn't watch a video.
Visitors who view product videos areÂ 85 percent more likely to purchase than visitors who do not, according to a study from Internet Retailer. Clearly demonstrating thatÂ product pages with video have higher conversion rates than product pages without video.
Once you've put video on your site, don't underestimate the importance of measuring performance in terms of view-through rate (VTR), which VTR is the number of videos watched divided by the number of impressions (times a page loaded with a video). Optimize for VTR and you'll increase your conversion rates.
Monitoring metrics: If you monitor the VTR metrics, it will help determine the effectiveness of your video placement. These metrics will also signal the effectiveness of your calls to action, as well as other elements that ideally will keep viewers watching.
Pump up it up!
According to a recent study conducted by the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization, 42 percent of marketers said bringing traffic to their sites is the main goal of employing an online marketing plan.
Search engines are designed to provide the most relevant content among a seemingly endless stream of interconnected pages on the Web.Â By adding a video element to an e-commerce site you will improveÂ SEO performance for the keywords associated with the video, as well as content around the video.
In order to monitor the video's success, observe traffic from search engines such as Google and Bing after adding a video and compare to the page's performance before the video.
According to Cisco, online video will increase from 30 percent of all Internet traffic toÂ 90 percent of Internet traffic by 2013. Of course, a lot of that traffic will be attributed to product page videos.
It's been proven that video drives conversions, traffic and sales while reducing returns- so what are you waiting for?
Tim Gray is content strategist with Blue Fountain Media. He has wide ranging background in the online marketing space and writes about his experiences with SEO, Social Media, and all aspects of Web design for the company's blog, The ROI Factor. Read more about Tim here.