For retailers, video is the new JPEG. Companies have demonstrated that videos drive more conversion and higher AOV, and with the costs of video production dropping, there’s no reason why all retailers shouldn’t be embracing video - and hundreds of reasons why they should.

You probably already know how important video is for your ecommerce site, but do you know the best ways to effectively harness it?  

To start, videos should be produced using a scalable process and address content in which visitors are interested.

What video content should I create for my ecommerce site?

Go beyond your typical product videos. Your videos should address issues that arise post-sales, introduce service support, provide buying guides and give tutorials.

In other words, they should be unique and engaging. They should bring your brand alive and be short enough and digestible enough to keep viewers engaged. 

Take Abercrombie & Fitch, for example. When you navigate to this brand’s 'jeans' page, you get models who aren’t static, but are moving to give a better view of the product.

These product demonstration videos help consumers imagine themselves wearing the same jeans and inspire them to make a purchase.

Building targeted video content

To build great content, first you must define your objective. What are you goals? In which ways do you want consumers to react to your videos? What actions do you want them to take? Determine your target audience and engage it effectively.

So, who is your audience? Usually, retailers’ audiences are divided into three different categories: casual browsers, customers who are already interested in the product for which they’re searching and your overall brand, and existing customers who you’ll need to keep on your side. Each of these groups requires a unique approach to content.

Casual browsers will be attracted to your brand on big social sites like Facebook, so extend your reach as far as possible. They’ll want to hear all about your brand and what you have to offer.

Wayfair, an online home goods retailer, is still a growing company (that’s about to go public) and its commercial explains what the brand has to offer consumers:

Interested consumers are looking for reasons to trust your brand. Be authentic by showing how your products are benefitting others, and encourage them to be a part of your brand and the community of customers surrounding it by submitting their own videos and comments.

Best practice is to have this video content reside on your brand site.

Two great examples of videos for interested customers would be a “how-to” video guide on products sold and sizing guide videos.

The intent with these videos is to provide advice to drive consumers down the funnel toward purchase - not necessarily to call out a specific product. 

Finally, existing customers have already chosen to side with your brand. They want to be enticed to buy a specific product with great offers and clear call-to-actions. They may also need help with navigating a recent purchase.

Take these Verizon videos, for example. They reside on the brand’s own site and help customers learn how to operate their devices while actually using them (In other words, a customer can utilize his/her smartphone to see videos explaining how to operate it). 

Measuring video content effectiveness

  • Analyze how many users are clicking on videos within your email campaigns and on your website.
  • Ask customers directly what they think of your video(s) through your company’s social media accounts.
  • Undergo A/B and multivariate testing to assess your content in real-time and adjust it to fit the needs of your audience.

How can I efficiently create video content?

  • Couple video/photo shoots for products to save on setup costs (scene, models and products).
  • Use a storyboard template for all product videos and replicate this storyboard so you don’t need to spend a lot of time and money creating custom scripts each time.
  • Use your company’s own employees – sales personnel, customer care reps, buyers – who know the product well and can evangelize it to customers. This saves on talent costs, as well as adds to authenticity.
  • Encourage a workflow that allows video developers to make instant and long-form feature edits without losing creativity or speed.
  • Integrate marketing and creative to streamline the creation process.

Choosing a platform for content

Ideally, retailers should give consumers the videos they want, and ecommerce marketers should take several video platforms into consideration and make a decision that best fits their brand(s).

The platform you choose should be easy for your internal team to create, manage and deliver every aspect of the video experience. You’ll want to test and analyze the content often to see how well your customers are converting and who is watching.    

Using videos for your ecommerce site and seeing an impact? What delivered results for you? Please share in comments, or for more information on this topic download Econsultancy's Online Video Best Practice Guide.


Published 26 June, 2014 by Darin Archer

Darin Archer is Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Experience Manager and a contributor to Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

3 more posts from this author

You might be interested in

Comments (3)

Pete Austin

Pete Austin, Founder and Author at Fresh Relevance

Q. Online video for ecommerce: what type of content should you create?

A. Short content.

The recent social trend is towards short videos - for example Vine videos at about 6 seconds - and these are much less annoying than longer ones. It's surprising how much people can fit in when they try. For example:

about 4 years ago

Matthew Marceau

Matthew Marceau, Customer Service at

We've had the biggest success with how to videos, and demonstration videos. It's one of the only real ways to compete against a b&m's touch, taste, smell experience. Mainly because It gives more depth and enhances the visual senses far more than a picture will. It also helps give a shopper an added point of reference.

thanks Darin, great read for getting the creative juices flowing.

about 4 years ago


Mike Darnell

Hi Darin,

Great post with some really good advice!
I'll start with a brief disclaimer - I'm a member of the team at - we're the leading provider of automated product videos for ecommerce (You can experience our technology on Walmart,, cnet, etc.)

Your points on measuring effectiveness and creating videos effectively are key. The issue anyone attempting to create video faces is that the relative high cost (time & effort, if not actual $$$) is a serious obstacle for creating enough content volume to allow for effective learning over time. Think about it, to do A/B testing you need at least two videos, and most businesses are struggling with getting just one out the door!

Automated solutions, thanks to there template and technology based approach, allow creation of thousands of videos, handle updates dynamically, and run A/B testing on-the-fly and as implement improvements automatically. Pricing is a significant consideration as well - solutions start at less than $200 a month. That's hard to be beat when compared to the cost of producing even a single clip in house.

Based on our experience the ecommerce retailers that see the best results are those who use a smart mix of videos: production video for company intro and credibility, automated solutions on product pages, and user generated content wherever relevant (product reviews and testimonials).

I'd love to hear other opinions and have links to successful case studies!


almost 4 years ago

Save or Cancel

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Digital Pulse newsletter. You will receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.