There was a time when the main focus of retailers was on optimizing their in-store experiences. Now, more than ever, retailers have shifted their attention to their online, digital marketplaces.
Video offers retailers excellent opportunities to engage with customers at a variety of online touch-points - on their website, within their apps, and across their Social Media channels.
Whie online shopping is increasingly popular, the main disadvantage for consumers is that they cannot interact with products as they might in a bricks & mortar setting. Negating this shortfall is a key role that video places in the digital marketplace.
With fashion retailers, for example, video helps their potential online customers to bridge the experience of trying on a item of clothing by allowing them to see details of the materials and how fabrics behave while the wearer is in motion. This brings reassurance and converts browsers into buyers.
But video for retailers can go further. While Product demonstrations and How To videos
give retailers the chance to demonstrate the functionality and uses of their products, they can make themselves indispensable with broader advice beyond just the use of a single product. Which is why DIY retailers aren’t just offering information on wallpaper glue; they’re discussing interior design.
Of course, an ever-evolving choice of Social Media channels is providing new avenues for retail video, with each platform offering access to a particular audience demographic. Some channels have a proven value. Instagram Stories - a collection of pictures and video with the scope for overlays, effects and quizzes - is popular with retail brands for driving awareness. But retailers need to assess the merits of trading on each Social Media platform. With Tik Tok, which has around 800 million monthly active users, most retailers are still waiting for the platform to evolve before investing heavily in video content for it.
What retailers have learned is that it pays to evoke an emotional response with each specific audience with content that could be funny, educational or inspirational. Of course, creating something shareable is the holy grail.
While video may increase sales and drive general awareness, retailers that are capturing their video data and integrating it with their eCommerce platform are uncovering important insights, not only into the ROI of individual pieces of video content, but their consumers’ tastes and priorities and the overall customer journey.