The evidence is in: video is a vital part of the future of eCommerce. 80 percent of millennials watch videos before making a purchase decision. eCommerce stores with videos on product pages benefit from higher engagement and shoppers stay longer. The dominance of mobile and video-centric social media means that more shoppers than ever are exposed to video — Facebook has made it clear that it thinks video is the future of its platform and that videos are more likely to appear in the Newsfeed than text and images.
All of which is making some eCommerce merchants nervous. After all, video is hard, right? And hard means expensive. To create video, you need to hire a video professional or invest in expensive cameras, lenses, lighting, studio time. All of which would blow the marketing budgets of many eCommerce stores out of the water.
But, in 2017, is video really all that difficult or expensive? Feature-rich cameras that would once have cost thousands of dollars can be bought for just a few hundred dollars today. And, of course, anyone with a recent iPhone or Android phone has a high-definition camera in their pocket.
But most important, the expectations around video have changed. There will always be a place for video with high production values, and professional video will always be expensive, but much of the most effective video on social media isn’t necessarily the slickest. Many successful videos are personal, with reasonable but not fantastic production value, and are essentially ephemeral.
Where video is concerned, the perfect is the enemy of the good, and eCommerce merchants shouldn’t be discouraged from creating and distributing product and brand focused video just because they don’t have the budget of Louis Vuitton.
Instagram and SnapChat are hugely popular among their distinct demographics, and it couldn’t be easier to use them to create and distribute slick and effective videos showcasing products. There’s no reason a fashion retailer shouldn’t showcase their products in short videos. If you sell tech products, make short demonstration videos. Any retailer can create “slice of life” videos showing the day-to-day life of their company.
And it’s not just social media networks like Instagram that make building a brand with video easy. Periscope is hugely popular and makes live-streaming a doddle. As I’ve argued in other articles, to compete with large eCommerce stores, smaller stores must focus on building brands that appeal directly to their customers — live streaming can powerfully contribute to cementing the relationship between your store and its customers.
One of my favorite new developments in the mobile video space is Apple’s Clips app. Clips provides a simple intuitive interface for recording, editing, annotating, and sharing video. The major benefit of Clips is that it isn’t tied to a particular social network. You can record and edit with Clips before sending video to any social network.
Video is going to be a big part of the future of eCommerce. If you haven’t started experimenting with video yet, what’s stopping you?