Trying to increase the engagement of your website's visitors? We've run a few notable experiments using videos in the last year that show that PRODUCT (and not MARKETING) videos are very promising indeed.
We even learned the hard way how essential they are by replacing product videos with marketing videos for a short spell which ruined the conversion rate of our site. We captured our observations in three key insights.
Insight 1: Visitors seek education through product videos
On September 12, 2013, we announced that we raised a round of venture capital funding. This created some buzz around the startup and technology communities, which prompted a large number of visitors to our website interested in learning more about us. I compared the expected number of views on our product tour video page with the actual number of views when the announcement was made and found that the number of viewers on the product video tour page was twice the expected amount.
Bottom line: Online users seeking to actively learn more about a product do so by watching product videos.
Insight 2: Product videos increase engagement
Last week we published several product tour videos on our site after 12 weeks of not having any product videos on our site (before that we had the one previously mentioned product tour video, but it was removed because it was out-of-date). During that time we did have two marketing videos that focused on the larger message and problems that Salsify solves, but no videos that centered around the Salsify product.
Once the product tour page was published, it became one of our top performing pages immediately. We measure this not only by the number of views but also by the “bounce rate” as a measure of engagement. Bounce rates calculate the percentage of visitors that leave the site after viewing a page. Google Analytics can calculate this for us, and we can tell you that the bounce rate on our product tour page is 22% lower than our site average.
Bottom line: Viewers of product tour videos are much more likely to continue exploring the site.
Insight 3: Product videos accelerate the sales cycle
Product videos don’t just increase engagement across your website. We find that those that visit our product tour page are much more likely to visit our plans page that details our product pricing. In fact, the number one page that visitors navigate to after the product tour page is our plans page.
Furthermore, our experiments show that when the initial product tour page was removed, our conversion rates decreased dramatically but rebounded within days of launching the new product tour page.
Bottom line: Product videos provide more conversion opportunities and can turn visitors into buyers more quickly.
What this means for e-commerce
Just as the product tour page is an important part of Salsify’s website experience, videos are becoming increasingly important to the online shopping experience. According to a whitepaper by Invodo, retailers are citing as much as 40% increases in purchases as a result of video.
Perhaps even more amazing than the impact product videos can have on site conversion is that they are surprisingly easy to make. We made the following 1-minute video in 15 minutes using Screenflow and BlueMic. If you're shooting a usage video of a physical product you could get started with just your iPhone!