Seven Ways in which Video Has Evolved Over the Last Year

I have a number of Google alerts set to make sure I’m never missing out on any industry (related) news, development, and/or trends in the world of video and ecommerce.
Recently an article came across my inbox titled:

“Field Test: Video Usage On eCommerce Sites”.

Originally published on Practical eCommerce in October, 2008, my first impression was, “oh, old news.”

Evolution - As seen on México's Federal Highway 2

Evolution - As seen on México's Federal Highway 2

But old news is sometimes good news when you want to compare where you were then to where you are today. With that in mind, I found it extremely interesting to read what an inaccurate perception many etailers had of product videos just over a year ago and how much retailers’ attitudes towards video have changed in the interim.

The top seven misconceptions that retailers had in terms of video usage and effectiveness that stood out in my mind were:

1) Videos distract people

I don’t think anyone in 2010 thinks that video is distracting, certainly not in a negative sense. In fact, in today’s ecommerce climate it is seen as an essential tool for properly demonstrating any given product. If, however, that is a concern in a retailer’s mind, it is also possible to add video in an unobtrusive manner, such as a simple link.

2) There are verticals for which video is not an effective medium

One retailer interviewed for example said, “Apparel doesn’t lend itself very well to video product demonstrations. Apparel turns over very quickly.” This of course is untrue. Video can effectively demonstrate all types of products including fashion, sporting goods, consumer electronics and more. High turnover is also no barrier to video. With an automated system like Treepodia’s retailers can cover any and all new products immediately, and effortlessly.

3) Cute, funny, viral type videos are the way to go

As discussed in the past, while this may be an effective strategy for some retailers for certain types of products (and dependant on goals), most retailers benefit most from covering more products, with relevant product videos on the actual product pages of their website.

4) Video is only good as an instructional tool

Au contraire. While it is indeed true that video is a fantastic tool for educating and instructing shoppers, video is also one of the most useful tools for effectively demonstrating a product and increasing conversion rates.

5) Still pictures are the best way to show products

While still pictures are still the most pervasive manner of displaying products on websites, they are not the most effective. Video is a far more effective medium for showing products, as it covers multiple angles and usages of any given product.

6) Hosting video is prohibitive to having video on site

Hosting capacity, of course, never has to be an issue for retailers, as many solutions (including ours) host for them.

7) The need to download videos will prevent shoppers from watching them

Downloading concerns are pretty much passé, as streaming is now the way to go.

So what’s the moral of the story?

Times change quickly and an industry can evolve tremendously over the course of a year.Video is a rapidly emerging ecommerce medium, an effective marketing tool, and the best way for online retailers to effectively demonstrate their products and increase sales.

Image credit: A Caveman trapped in the 21st Century