Video Content and Mobile Optimisation Drive Online Conversion, according to Google

Google and Compete conducted a survey that looked at the use of video content and mobile devices as e-commerce selling tools for apparel, finding the two elements had a positive impact on conversion.

The Back to School Shopping Trends in 2012 survey found over 20 percent of apparel consumers were using tablet or mobile devices to shop every day. The survey also showed that watching a video online encouraged 4 in 10 people to visit a store online, and 1 in 3 people used YouTube to shop for apparel.

Google’s Industry Director for Retail, Todd Pollak detailed the changing shopping behaviours in a recent blog post.

Pollak said online research was a key segment of an online shopper’s pattern, with video viewing an important element of making an informed purchase decision.

More and more retailers are incorporating quality video content into their websites to show the detail of products, such as a garment’s fit and quality. Pollak described video as the “virtual fitting room”, enabling viewers to view expert reviews or ratings and see the products in motion.

Video advertising has also gained traction in comparison to more traditional methods. The survey found that 34 percent of apparel shoppers were more likely to purchase after watching a video ad online, compared with 16 percent after watching a TV ad.

People aged between 18 and 34 years were twice as likely to make a decision about a purchase after watching online videos, and utilised YouTube for shopping advice, Google found. Online retailers are seeing the rewards in YouTube content, with almost 600,000 retail videos on the channel, of which 35,000 were uploaded in the last month.

Mobile and tablet devices have made online shopping extremely convenient, allowing people to view, research or purchase anywhere, anytime. The Google survey backed up this idea, finding that more than 1 in 5 apparel consumers used their tablets or mobile devices on a daily basis for shopping.

The laid-back shopper can now browse a retailer’s website in the comfort of their home or whilst on the commute to work or school. According to the survey, more than 69 percent of consumers shopped on their phone or tablet at home, with 31 percent using the devices in-store, 28 percent whilst queuing and 27 percent during work.

In the below graph, Google illustrates the different ways in which consumers are using mobile devices, including comparing prices and looking for promotions, reading reviews, searching inventory, scanning barcodes whilst in-store and contacting retailers.

Google finds mobile devices have become the new retail assistant.

What is evident from the survey findings is the value to be found in digital media. Locally and internationally, retailers such as Zappos are seeing the benefit with more and more incorporating video content and optimising their websites for mobile devices.

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