Can interactive videos prove the ROI to justify the effort?

This morning I read a great guest post on InternetRetailing by Sheila Dahlgren, senior director of marketing at Adobe Scene7.

Sheila explained the virtues of interactive videos and gave a few examples of vendors already using this technology:

…ONLINE dressing room KnickerPicker allows users to select models and lingerie styles, then zoom and spin to see all angles. Consumers choose the model which most closely resembles their body type to view from all angles how different styles of lingerie would look…

…US retailer JCPenney offers customers the ability to view a runway show and interact by grouping clothing styles, fast forwarding and viewing using a 360-spin and a zoom function.

…AN entertaining example of interactive video use can be seen on French mattress retailer Matelsom’s website. Consumers can select two models — people of all different shapes and sizes are available — and see how their chosen mattress performs when their models sit on, jump onto, or lie down on the mattress. This replicates the in-store experience and illustrates what people do (or would like to do!) when considering buying a mattress.

No doubt Interactive Video is cool

It’s obvious this type of interactivity is fun and cool. I’m even pretty sure the metrics are there to prove it gives ROI.

BUT… Interactive Videos are complicated too

Interactive videos are labor intensive custom tailored solutions that require the involvement of specialists. This means they have relatively long time-to-market, little scalability and high costs. As the examples Sheila provided prove they are currently a solution accessible only to the “big boys”.

Is the effort really worth it?

Is the effort really worth it?

Is the extra effort justifiable?

Considering “traditional” video enhancements for product pages are a proven method for double digit conversions increases, is the additional expense required for interactive video already justified?

Let me elaborate:
This morning I read on InternetRetailer that Shoeline.com reported a 44% increase in conversions on product pages enhanced by video. Sheila herself reports in her post that eBags.com saw 50%-139% increases in conversion rates for video enhanced pages.

These figures are very much in line with what we at Treepodia have been witnessing with our own clientèle (ice.com, diamond.com, eyebuydirect.com, etc.).

My point/question is:

  • We know our clients getting these benefits from using our low cost, automated product video solution.
  • We guarantee it can cover a vendor’s entire product catalog within 24 hours from initial contact.
  • The effort required on the vendor’s part is nothing more than to supply us with their catalog’s XML.

When all this is taken under consideration, can the huge extra costs required for interactive video, in terms of time, money and complexity, be justified by substantially better performance metrics over “regular” or automated product video?
Image credit: http://bit.ly/4e9I3I

  • John

    Great post!