Retailers Take Note: Video Sells! - eMarketer

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Retailers Take Note: Video Sells!

The best thing since TV ads?

January 26, 2009

Every retailer knows the importance of moving product, but online the idea may be taking on a whole new meaning.

According to comScore, the number of online shoppers who watched retail videos grew 40% in a single year.

Granted, the numbers come from a small base and most retailers have only just begun experimenting with online product videos, but early indications point to product videos becoming a powerful sales tool.

“Among the benefits of videos touted by Web retailers are a lower number of abandoned shopping carts, reduced return rates and higher sales,” says Jeffrey Grau, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report, Video Usage in E-Commerce: The Best Is Yet to Come. “And those are just some of the benefits.”

It is not surprising that Internet Retailer found that adding video topped online retailers’ to-do lists.

One of the biggest obstacles to retail video development, particularly in this economy, is high costs.

“Nevertheless, seeing the sales lift from videos, retailers are exerting pressure on their suppliers to create video content,” says Mr. Grau. “This may be the year the logjam breaks.”

Even with tight budgets, SLI Systems found retailers reluctant to cut online video monies.

Only site search, e-mail marketing, user-generated content and search engine marketing were considered less dispensable than video.

“Once retailers build up the video content on their sites, they will focus on turning their video assets into customer acquisition tools by pushing video to other sites, such as affiliates, social networks and video-sharing destinations,” says Mr. Grau. “Retailers will also place community elements around their videos to make it easy for consumers to upload them to social networks, blogs, bookmarking services or e-mails.”

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