19 Aug 2019

Does Product Video Impact Sales?


Marketing marmite

Is video a powerful influencer in consumer purchasing decisions or is product video an expensive red-herring?

Given the tsunami of statistics surrounding product video you’d think this is a trick question. The evidence shows that video in the right place in the consumer buying journey can strongly affect propensity to purchase.

Yet video still remains the one piece of content that causes a dilemma for marketers; it’s marketing marmite.

You either go with it or you think it’s all a lot of fuss about something that is difficult to commission and requires too much mollycoddling.

It is true that video is not the easiest content category to deploy.

It requires technical acumen, production experience and serious client effort to make it fit for purpose; each of these skills and actions involves committing proper budget for a bespoke type of content that seems to need so much more input relative to other marketing outlay.

And then, if you’re the ecommerce manager, there’s the challenge of making a case to the FD and rest of the board for a type of marketing content that has only a short if impressive track-record in proving ROI.

Video has to prove itself as a winner

To feature as regular content on ecommerce sites, video must have the sales data on its side to push for inclusion in both sales strategy and the budgets. Analytics has never been more important than in these nervy Brexit days as the pressure grows to spread budgets across an ever increasing range of content and digital wrap around services.

The worry is that poorly executed product video, which is not adequately backed or is badly conceived because the fundamentals of videography are misunderstood, will naturally fail to do the job it’s commissioned for.

Videography requires products that are prepped for the studio and, unlike photography, products that work properly for demonstration. It needs real space to film in (for lighting and for the wide shot) and time to get enough angles to make an engaging clip that shows off the product in the best light.

How to harness the power of ecommerce video through sustainable production?

When a retailer in either the B2C or B2B market wants to produce a lot of product video on an ongoing basis to cover a large product inventory there’s naturally a challenge. This extends to photography, but it’s more exaggerated when it comes to creating the best product video in a sustainable, consistent way to give it legs to prove its worth as a sales tool.

If the solution is to inhouse the video production, then brace yourself for significant investment in equipment, studio space and above all in a video team.

One videographer can only cope with a finite number of videos in a given period of time.

As video is a process that can roughly be delineated into preparation, filming, post-production and delivery, the inhouse videographer will face the same obstacles as an outsourced agency: difficulty in getting hold of products; staggered feedback on scripts and sign-off; finding adequate studio time, and, above all, managing fiddly post-production demands through the editing, graphics, grading to delivering the correct file outputs, exporting, uploading and indexing.

With a video team that includes production managers, directors, studio runners, editors and animators, the effort to maintain a steady, high-quality output of multiple product video over a period of time is mitigated, whether in-house or outsourced.

And costs can more easily be managed if the numbers of videos are defined from the beginning.

There is a Fordian principle at work in multiple product video production.

If the process is treated as production line with specialists in each area, it will drive up quality whilst keeping costs regular and sustainable. It is the opposite of relying on one videographer trying to create multiple videos under pressure, only to find it’s impossible to produce either the quantity or quality of output required.

Is multiple video output viable or necessary?

The number of ecommerce retailers across the board that have been and are continuing to use product video as a sales tool ie. Amazon, AO, Go Outdoors, Lakeland, M&S, John Lewis etc. shows they are getting a return on investment.

They not only believe that product video influences purchasing decisions, but can support with evidence the gut instinct that video works (like it did for TV before the internet) on ecommerce platforms.

The issue for those ecommerce retailers who are committed is not whether video works as a sales tool, but how to create sustainable, affordable fresh content on an ongoing basis that is of high enough quality to retain brand values.

This without breaking the bank or their inhouse teams.

The future

In a globally connected world where ecommerce cuts across national boundaries, product video is becoming more, not less, important.

It is the demonstration extra that shows consumers what they’ll get for their money.

Poor video will not cut it any more than poor photography or poor copy.

Choosing the right option for bespoke video creation is as much about getting the right set-up for sustainable production as is about getting it right for the brand and for sales.