Product videos are proven to have a positive correlation with online conversion rates, as people who watch videos tend to buy more stuff. 

Whether or not these customers are further down the purchase journey and so more likely to buy anyway is open to debate.

But not all video is created equal. The impact on conversions depends on the quality of the creative but also on where it sits in the customer journey.

For the purposes of this post I’m interested in looking at where ecommerce sites are placing video on their product pages.

As we'll see there are some obvious trends, though also some aspects that are worth testing to see which proves to be the most effective for your own ecommerce site.

For more on this topic read our posts on the questions you should ask around video strategy and what type of content you should create.

ASOS

ASOS uses video on all of its product pages, located within the same window as its product images.

This is a fairly common strategy among fashion retailers as it makes sense to put the images and videos within the same window. 

This both saves on space and means all visual aids are in the same location.

ASOS uses two different CTAs for video content – ‘Watch video’ and ‘View catwalk’.

Cotswold Outdoor

Camping retailer Cotswold Outdoor positions the play button beneath the product image. 

I would assume that most users are familiar with the red play button so it doesn’t need another CTA.

When you click to play the video it displays as a popup that takes over the whole screen.

It’s embedded via YouTube so you can watch the videos on Cotswold’s channel if you’d prefer.

Simplyhike

Simplyhike differs from the norm as its videos appear down at the bottom of the screen, way below the fold.

Users have to scroll past all the usual product information and CTAs, plus a detailed description and fulfilment information, before they eventually reach the video.

Click to enlarge

I don’t think I often explore this far down a product page so it’s likely that a proportion of Simplyhike’s shoppers will never see the videos.

It is hosted on YouTube which has the added benefit of increasing the video's potential reach.

Net-A-Porter

Fashion retailer Net-A-Porter has opted for the same approach as ASOS, with the video playing in the same window as the product images.

It’s hosted on the retailer’s site so it can’t be shared or viewed elsewhere.

Homebase

DIY retailer Homebase hosts its videos within the product image list, though on this particular shed product it wasn’t immediately visible - I had to press the down arrow to scroll to the product video.

The video appeared in a popup and gave general advice on choosing sheds rather than specific information on this product.

It is hosted on Homebase’s site rather than on YouTube or Vimeo.

Argos

Argos uses a no-nonsense CTA – it’s a play button with the caption ‘Video 1’

It’s not particularly appealing but then users aren’t likely to be confused by it either.

The video plays in a popup window and is hosted on the Argos site. 

It relates to this specific product rather than airbeds in general and at just 42 seconds long it doesn’t give users a chance to get bored.

Home Depot

This video from Home Depot is worth watching just for the funny hard rock music that plays in the background.

Hosted on the Home Depot site and promoted using a simple play button icon, the video is for the range of products rather than this specific item.

L.L.Bean

Outdoor retailer L.L.Bean has opted for a popup window and videos hosted on its own site.

The CTA is an icon that simply says ‘Video’ alongside the product images.

Dick’s Sporting Goods

Dick’s is unique in having a grey button that says ‘Play Video’, as opposed to the more common play button.

The video appears in a popup window and is hosted on the retailer’s own site, though it does have a sharing button at the bottom.

Eddie Bauer

The CTA isn’t immediately obvious on this product page, but you can see it just above the product description.

Despite being a bit difficult to spot it’s immediately obvious what the button does. The video appears in a popup window and is embedded via YouTube.

In conclusion...

Though these retailers all have their own quirks in the way they present product videos, there are some obvious trends.

Firstly, video CTAs tend to be positioned among the product images. This makes perfect sense as this is where people look when trying to get a better view of the product.

Simplyhike was the only retailer that placed the video below the fold, right down at the bottom of the product page.

Secondly, most retailers are happy to assume that users know that a play button signifies a product video.

There were some that deviated from this, opting instead for text CTAs that said some variation of ‘Play video’.

I’d suggest that this is worth testing as in general you should never assume all users have the same expectations.

Another clear trend is the use of popup windows to display the product videos. This is likely because most videos play in portrait so don’t fit in the same dimensions as a product image. 

ASOS and Net-A-Porter bucked this trend but that’s probably because clothes are easier to show off in a portrait catwalk view.

The final debate to be had is whether retailers opt to put their videos on YouTube or host them on their own sites.

It’s probably worth investigating the pros and cons in a future post, but I would assume that the arguments for YouTube would centre on greater exposure, while embedding on your own site gives greater control over the analytics.

David Moth

Published 10 February, 2015 by David Moth

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn

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Ben Howes, CEO at Zoetrope

Great article David!

I've just recently been studying the use of video by Amazon specifically just a few days ago and found that they are actually A/B testing the use of auto-play video on their product pages (Example here is a live A/B test: http://www.amazon.co.uk/BOSS-Orange-Joetze-01-Leather/dp/B00LGVE86E). I've only found examples on clothing and watches so far.

These videos are placed in line and they actually seem to try to match the main product image with the starting frames of the video. On pages where they don't auto-play, they just use the classic play symbol as the call to action.

I wrote all about it here http://bit.ly/1y6Un0x

over 3 years ago

David Moth

David Moth, Managing Editor at Barclaycard

Hi Ben, I never noticed that Amazon used product videos, thanks for pointing it out.

over 3 years ago

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Sarah Nochimowski, Marketing director at Treepodia

Hi David, great article! We have done thousands of videos for online retailers and our best practice is to place the button above the fold on the product image, in a color that stands out from the rest of the website.

over 3 years ago

Steven Gilroy

Steven Gilroy, Ecommerce Manager at Steve Gilroy

Hi David. We decided to add the "play" instruction as we thought the icon on its own may not be crystal clear. We also use YouTube to allow sharing across platforms. We'll be doing some A/B testing in the near future on the lightbox/product area placement.

Example: http://www.pinkboutique.co.uk/new-in/galapogos-pink-snake-print-scarf.html

They're getting a lot of plays the way they are, so we think we got it right with our customer base.

over 3 years ago

David Moth

David Moth, Managing Editor at Barclaycard

@Steven, it would be interesting to see the results of your A/B test if you're willing to share.

over 3 years ago

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jessica thorpe, COO at EXPO

Great article Dave! We work with manufacturers and retailers to help with video for product pages and are also seeing video finding their way up into the 'hero' spot right near the product images.

See how both Sears: http://www.sears.com/norelco-1250x-40-sensotouch-3d-electric-razor-with-gyroflex/p-038V002671487000P and Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00F5VEDKC are featuring consumer videos.

over 3 years ago

James Gurd

James Gurd, Owner at Digital JugglerSmall Business Multi-user

Hi David
thanks for sharing.
Quick note on Simplyhike, they have a video icon top left of the image - click it and it drops you onto the video play area further down the page.
Although the UX of doing this is pretty good, you do then have to scroll back up to the access images and other info, which isn't great.
thanks
james

over 3 years ago

David Moth

David Moth, Managing Editor at Barclaycard

@James, thanks for pointing that out, I'd totally missed it!

over 3 years ago

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Rick Dennis, Owner at Audio Bible

1. How long is a good product video? time wise?
2. what types of questions, etc.... should be in the video? what should the video answer?
3. what about actually having the video and play button right inside the hero picture area in the default mode, when the page first loads up? any testing done on that?

about 3 years ago

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