Online video strategy, the missing link in electronic commerce?
Currently, stores are competing to find new ways to take advantage of changing consumer buying habits and turn online shoppers into unconditional customers. The most innovative online strategies are designed specifically to increase total revenue per customer and drive efficiencies through all the parts of the sales experience. The result is an explosion of interest and innovation focused on online sales, with video at the forefront of this evolution. Video commerce, or ‘v-commerce’, will soon be part of the common jargon of marketing, so any company that wants to connect more strongly with its customers should invest in video.
According to comScore, brands that use online video have recorded increases of between 20 and 40 percent in terms of incremental sales. Marks and Spencer (M & S) is a large distribution chain in the United Kingdom that has taken advantage of this emerging e-commerce technology. Already known for the innovative approach of its online activities, M & S wanted to take its strategy further, using v-commerce to boost its online business and, at the same time, retain existing customers. After its first year of life, ‘M & STV’, a collection of more than 500 audiovisual pieces divided into different channels, demonstrates that a convincing online video increases sales. Each channel focuses on a thematic or product area, which includes women’s wear, men’s fashion, home or the sustainability commitment of M & S. These videos, short enough to adapt to the consumption patterns associated with the channels, have driven a new form of customer participation that generates longer stay times, repeat visits and a significant increase in sales.
As a result of this innovative approach, the retail giant has had a significant impact on its sales and online traffic. The sale of certain product ranges has increased by 90%, the shopping basket has increased by an average of approximately 23%, and total sales have increased by around 30%. And what is more important, the level of customer bonding, which is what ultimately generates these figures, has been highly effective. M & S has created informative and entertaining video content that has made it possible for up to twice as many users to see them to repeat visits, compared to those who visited pages without video content.
Thomas Pink, a luxury men’s shirt shop, also uses video as part of his e-commerce initiatives, creating part of a two-way conversation with his clients. Pink TV, the company’s online television channel, has three different types of videos, which are directed to the different parts of the purchasing process. The first group includes practical guides, such as the correct way to tie a bow tie. This type of online content works especially well, as it offers valuable information, which increases the chances of users sharing it with others in their networks. The second set revolves around the new collections, and presents the consumer shirts, ties, cufflinks and knitwear. Finally, once the consumer is ready to buy, You can find a collection of videos with views of the products in 360 °, testimonials and detailed specifications that are perfectly designed to generate clicks towards the final process, in which a viewer can make informed purchases. All videos include interactive “buy now” buttons and other calls to action to ensure that the viewer can interact directly with the content.
Social networks and searches from the mobile currently govern each aspect of the Internet, and retail has also been uploaded to this car. In another recent action, the women’s fashion firm Warehouse, which has 320 stores throughout the United Kingdom, has introduced a fashion portal called Style Studio TV, a video catalog of new styles, practical videos and global events. The consumer can access the videos from the main page, but also through the official Warehouse page on Facebook, where he can share the content, recommend it to friends or comment on it. From the point of view of the mobile, Warehouse has created an application for iPhone in which customers can get the latest updates on trends and essentials of fashion, available at warehouse.co.uk, as well as new video content from Style Studio TV. Online video platforms, such as Brightcove, make stores can count on online video more easily. Using these platforms, brands can create and adapt their players, upload, manage and organize their content libraries, as well as obtain analytical data on the degree of interest they arouse in customers or how they share the content.
Despite these remarkable developments, there is still an important question: if the video is such a brilliant communication vehicle, why is not it omnipresent content on consumer websites? For a long time the video was considered as an expensive project that did not provide real value, since the advertisements generated for television were put on a static website. The ability that consumers now have to access the Internet from different devices (television, mobile, PC, tablets, etc.) has opened up opportunities for brands and justifies any investment, since video can easily be syndicated on multiple platforms. This significantly expands the access that faithful followers have to the content of the brand,
Whichever solution the brand chooses, it is difficult to ignore that the video strategy has as a direct result an increase in the conversion rates, web traffic, video visualizations and the improvement of the relationship with the consumer.