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Video Plays Important Role in Path to Online Apparel Purchase

Strategies include incorporating user-generated and product page videos

New York, NY (October 24, 2012) – In the early days of online shopping, consumers gravitated towards buying books, movies and music online—safe, inexpensive products that were easy to ship and easy to decide upon. Consumers now have enough information and tools at their fingertips to make purchasing products like shoes and clothing a richer experience. A new eMarketer report, “Online Apparel Shopping: How Video Boosts Shopper Confidence and Drives Sales” explores one of the most promising platforms for apparel marketers looking to advance brand awareness and build shopper confidence.

The apparel and accessories category is one of the fastest-growing segments in the retail industry, in terms of ecommerce sales. According to eMarketer estimates, online category sales will grow 20% in 2012, outpacing the 15.4% growth rate for retail ecommerce in general. Online apparel and accessories sales will reach $41 billion in 2012, representing 18.3% of total retail ecommerce sales. By 2016, eMarketer anticipates US online apparel sales—which includes footwear and accessories—will generate $73 billion.

Although factors like convenience and free shipping are benefiting the online apparel shopping category, online video also appears to be nudging it in the right direction. Not specific to apparel, March 2012 data from Invodo found that more than half of internet users surveyed believed that online product videos helped increase confidence in their purchase. Additionally, 45% said they might be willing to stay on a website longer if it offered online product videos, and roughly one-third said they might feel compelled to purchase products on a website as a result of watching videos on that site.

Aside from content created by brands, consumers are increasingly turning to user-generated content for research, such as customer testimonials and reviews, or “haul” videos, in which a shopper (often a teen) shows off recent purchases and explains how she might wear those items. One 2012 study, from Google and Compete, indicated that 36% of US online shoppers watched customer testimonial videos while shopping for apparel.

The report offers strategies for retailers looking to take advantage of online video and answers key questions including:

  • What role does online video play in the online apparel shopper’s path to purchase?
  • How are apparel marketers using online video to drive more purchases online?
  • What are the biggest challenges in the online video space for apparel marketers?

The full report, “Online Apparel Shopping: How Video Boosts Shopper Confidence and Drives Sales ,” is available to eMarketer corporate subscription clients only. Total Access clients, log in and view the report now.

Posted on October 25, 2012.