By Tom Bishop Director of Marketing and Communications at KnowledgeVision Systems
As we enter Cyber Week 2012, we know that record numbers of shoppers hit the stores over Thanksgiving weekend. Among the online shopping trends we’ve seen include multi-channel shopping, mobile advertising, and opening times that are earlier than ever.
Another trend is that stores are pushing for in-store sales, using sales that aren’t available online and by guaranteed price-matching.
But the biggest trend appeared earlier in the year, when 2012 officially became the first year that online clothing purchases, or purchases influenced by the web, surpassed those made in a store. The driving factors in online retail are increased use of mobile devices and tablets, and an increasing emphasis on video. It turns out that 40% of video viewers wind up in the store or on the store’s website.
That’s huge. Do 4 out of ten viewers of television ads drop everything and head for the store? Nope. No way.
Online Video Is Trending
Obviously, online videos reach a buyer in a different decision stage and focus on a different aspect of the purchase, while TV ads are focused on branding. Still, online videos can run the gamut in scope and lead buyers toward a purchase better than ads, because they are targeted for the people who actively search for them.
Whether your product is clothing, auto parts, sporting goods, or software, video and online presentations will greatly enhance the shopping experience and drive buying decisions. Here are a few ways that retailers can use online video to boost sales:
- Product Demonstrations – There’s nothing like trying something on before you buy, even things like power tools and appliances. A short video that demonstrates how the product is used and how its features work can break the ice, especially for complex devices and software tools.
- Viral Branding Videos – These are much like ads, which reach an audience in an earlier buying stage, and maybe before they’ve heard of you. These should focus on a simplified message that describes your brand proposition, using the problems you solve as your SEO keywords.
- In-Store Displays – More retailers are melding the online and in-store experience, through QR codes, links and kiosks that lead customers to more-in-depth information about the products on display. Videos that illustrate use of the product can definitely encourage immediate sales.
- Tips and Tricks – It’s not about you. If you create videos that help customers solve problems, whether you use your own internal experts or find an industry leader to talk about solutions, you can help your customers in ways that go beyond branding and sales, and create community.
- Interviews, Stories and Cases – Sometimes people just want to know your company better before they buy. Tell them a story about the company’s founding, or how you came up with a product idea. Ask a customer to discuss how your solution helped them.
No matter how you use online video, it has been proven to encourage viewers toward the online shopping cart or grab their coat to head for the store, and it’s a game-changer for the 2012 online shopping season.
There’s still time to put your ideas into video this holiday shopping season. To try making your own online demonstrations, why not try KnowledgeVision out for two weeks.
Tom Bishop is Director of Marketing and Communications at KnowledgeVision Systems in Lincoln, Massachusetts. He is an experienced Marketing Professional focused on brand strategy, content marketing, social media, campaign management, market segmentation, research and data analysis, and business development. He brings a great deal of experience in start up companies that are positioned for rapid growth. He received his MBA from Boston University in 2002.