Product videos are proving their utility to consumers on the hunt for information online. According to a November 2011 study by the e-tailing group and Invodo, US consumers who encountered product videos on websites watched them 60% of the time. And 36% of respondents said they had watched five or more product videos on brand or retail websites over the preceding three months.
Retailers should not worry that videos packed with information will drive customers with short attention spans off—in fact, the survey found the opposite to be true. Fully 85% of those polled said they would watch a video that educated them about a product they were interested in for at least 1 minute; 87% said they would spend the same amount of time watching a video that included a demonstration. However, the percentage of customers willing to spend a minute watching a video that specifically lacked a demonstration dropped to 65%.
Videos with useful content also led to repeat viewings, according to the survey. Two-thirds of respondents said they would watch videos containing large amounts of information about a product several times before deciding whether to buy it. Forty-seven percent of consumers also equated videos with high production values with being more reliable, according to the survey. And good videos had the effect of increasing consumer engagement among 53% of those surveyed.
The poll found that a large number of consumers were also willing to watch product videos on platforms other than retail websites. Forty-seven percent of respondents have viewed product videos on YouTube at least sometimes, while 39% of those polled have done the same on Facebook. The e-tailing group also examined 100 companies and found that almost three-quarters of those with a Facebook presence used video to aid F-commerce efforts.
Retailers’ use of online video is increasing as consumers are becoming more likely to watch clips online. eMarketer estimates that nearly 170 million Americans will watch videos online this year—more than half the total population. The most growth in online video viewing over the next several years will come from currently underpenetrated audiences like seniors, a population that’s also turning more and more to online buying.