What are e-commerce product videos and why are they important?


Why videos are important for your business

Over the last few years video usage on the internet has grown to a staggering level and this is likely to continue in the future with the popularity of social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram and TikTok.

Shopping habits have been changing too recently due to the Covid pandemic with more people choosing to shop online, so if you want to maintain and increase your sales revenues it’s vital that you keep your e-commerce website up to date with what your customers expect to see; and research is showing that customers want to see videos. Here are a few statistics to illustrate my point:

          54% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support (HubSpot, 2018)

          68% of marketers say video has a better return on investment than Google Ads. (Biteable, 2020)

          Video ads were the #1 way consumers discovered a brand they later purchased from. (Animoto, 2020)

If you’re still not convinced, a good example of how video marketing can transform your business is the Dollar Shave Club. They produced a video in 2012 which went viral and grew the business into a billion-dollar brand. The video now has over 27 million views on YouTube!


What are product videos?

There are a few different types of e-commerce videos which I will explain below:

How-to videos

You can probably guess from the title that how-to videos (which can also be referred to as explainer videos or tutorials) are those which show your customers how to use a particular product or service that you provide. They can vary in terms of length and complexity depending on the nature of the product or service and this type of product video can be presented, narrated or kept very simple with a few clips to show the different steps. Here are a few examples to show you want I mean:

Adobe: How to create an animated GIF in Photoshop

Herschel Supply: Travel Backpack Tutorial

Product-in-context videos

Product-in-context videos are typically quite short in duration and show a montage of clips with the product or service being used in a real-life situation. The people featured in the videos are usually actors or models, but for bigger brands with bigger budgets they could even feature well known celebrities who endorse the brand. Product-in-context videos are great for your website and perfect for social media channels like Instagram. Have a look at the videos below which are good demonstrations of product-in-context videos.

Tag Heuer: New Collection

Specialized Bicycles: Chelsea Kimball x Kenevo SL

Close-up videos

For products which are all about style, design and appearance (like jewellery, clothing and food) close-up videos are a fantastic way to allow your customers to see every detail. These are mainly filmed in a studio setting where the lighting and movement of the object and/or camera can be carefully controlled. These videos work fantastically well alongside your product photography on the product page for each individual item.

Tiffany and Co: Diamond Ring

McDonalds: Big Mac


Important factors to consider when making videos

Who is your audience?

It’s important to understand who you want to watch your product videos because this will determine many aspects including the type of video, duration and other creative elements. For example, the audience for a high-end jewellery brand is likely to expect a very different style of video content to the audience of a children’s toy brand.

Where will it be posted?

There are lots of different platforms available to publish your content and they all operate slightly differently which will impact how your e-commerce videos should be produced. For example, YouTube is more suited to longer videos whereas Instagram and TikTok are better for short videos of less than 1 minute. Portrait videos are becoming more popular too on social media because it can occupy more screen space on people’s mobile phones.

Who will make your videos?

It is totally possible to make product videos yourself with a mobile phone and upload to your preferred platform. The camera quality of the latest mobile phones is very good but there is a lot more to making a video than just holding up a camera or phone and pressing record. Audio, lighting, composition, graphics, music and editing all make a big difference to the overall quality.

Unless you are a skilled videographer, I would recommend hiring professionals to make sure you leave a positive impression with your customers who watch the videos that you produce.

Final thoughts

Videos are becoming more and more important for businesses in the modern world to display products more dynamically and to connect emotionally with customers. People’s expectations are changing, they want to see more e-commerce videos on websites and social media so can you afford to fall behind.

There are a few different types of e-commerce videos including tutorials, product-in-context videos and close-up videos. The type of video you choose will depend on the type of product or service you are providing, the intended audience and platforms you choose to publish on so it’s important to think carefully before getting started.

If you get your video content right, who knows you could be the next Dollar Shave Club with millions of views on YouTube.

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