Video Marketing: Gaining the Competitive Advantage in E-Commerce

By John Lawson | 23 Feb 2011

John Lawson, founder of, provides insights and tips to help retailers leverage the burgeoning video marketing space.

Listen to this astonishing statistic… 171 million US Internet users watched online video in January 2011, engaging in nearly 4.9 billion viewer sessions during the month!

Many companies both small and large are still missing one of the most accessible and important aspects of online marketing and social engagement – video marketing.  The internet is filled with text based advertising and every day users are bombarded with textual ads, primarily in the form of Google Adwords alongside their searches. So many that we may have become immune to seeing these ads, simply focussing in on the content. So, how can you get a prospect to notice your ad content and share it with others? How do you get a campaign to go viral?

Understanding Video and Human Stimuli

Power Retail - YouTube Video Playbacks

YouTube Mobile Tripled in Views in 2010 - 200 million mobile video plays per day (Techcrunch, January 2010)

Video touches the senses of sight and sound, something that text can not do. Couple your sight and sound with contextual content and you now have an equation that looks something like this:

Sight + Sound + Text = Magnified Stimulation

Reading the written word is a foundational means of communicating with humans since ancient times. Then came the advancement of voice communication like radio and recordings to move human communication to the next level of stimuli. The revolution of movies, television and video enhanced the communication experience to a whole new height, stimulating the senses with audio, visual and motion.

Video and Online Shopping

Research on the purchasing response of online shoppers show a 35% increase in sale conversion rate of shoppers who engage with rich media versus those who do not. Shoppers that view video ‘product tours’ spent over 2.5 minutes more with each product. Some other benefits of utilising video online include:

  • Consumers trust online video;
  • Satisfaction ratings increase; and
  • Mobile and social media ‘share value’ increases.

Optimising your Online Video Marketing

  1. Use keywords in your video title (first words not at the end);
  2. If possible, mention keywords two times in the title (i.e. Bandana Folding – 4 Ways to Fold Bandanas);
  3. Mention keywords in the description of the video and keep this informational;
  4. Video is a long term marketing strategy, upload it one time and it will work forever;
  5. Keep video length to five minutes or less when possible;
  6. Be sure to fill in the tags and keep them relevant; and
  7. Remember, YouTube submissions are limited to 15 minutes of video and upto 2 GB.

E-Commerce Video Marketing  Statistics

  • Zappos experienced an increase from 6% to 30% in sales for products with video (ReelSEO, December 2009).
  • Visitors who view product videos are 85% more likely to buy than visitors who do not (Internet Retailer, April 2010).
  • On average, visitors who view video stay two minutes longer on site and 64% of those who view videos are more likely to purchase than other site visitors (Comscore, August 2010).
  • In tests for video, merchants such as Archie McPhee experienced conversion rate increases averaging 30%, with a range from 12% to 115% (Practical Ecommerce, November 2008).
  • Optimised video increases the chance of a front-page Google result by 53 times (Forrester, January 2010).
  • Video in email marketing has been shown to increase click-through rates by over 96%. In response, the number of marketers planning to use video in email campaigns has increased five times since the beginning of 2009 (Implix 2010 Email Marketing Trends Survey).
  • Living Direct found that videos boosted conversion as well as increasing time on site by 9% (Internet Retailer, October 2010).


3 thoughts on “Video Marketing: Gaining the Competitive Advantage in E-Commerce”

  1. Cindy Sorley says:

    Very insightful well written piece. This is a wealth of information.

  2. Peggy Duncan says:

    Great info, John. I’ve been gearing up to add more video to all my sites…now I know it needs to become a priority.

  3. Greg Jameson says:

    I been preaching video marketing for several years and do both seminars and webinars on this topic. The power of video really hit home when my son was working on his Eagle scout project and needed to learn how to install carpet squares – how found a video on how to do this, and ended up buying the carpet squares from the people who had put out the video.

    We offer video creation and video editing as part of our emarketing services and strongly believe that any business can benefit from this.

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