While more and more retailers are using online video, there are still plenty of sites which could use it to improve their product pages. 

I've been looking at some examples of best practice from retailers that use video on their product pages.  

Why product pages need video

Chris Hoskin set out some compelling arguments in this blog post, such as increasing brand engagement, the opportunity to tie in online video with offline campaigns through QR codes, but the biggest argument is the impact on conversion rates. 

Here are some stats: 

  • Using video demos of items on product pages increased sales for Zappos by between 6% and 30%. 
  • Shoppers who viewed video on Stacks and Stacks product pages were 144% more likely to add to cart than other shoppers.
  • On Ice.com, the conversion rate for shoppers viewing video on product pages increased by 400%, while return rates dropped from 12% to 9%. 
  • Shoeline.com improved the conversion rate by 44% for product pages containing videos.
  • Videos on the simplypiste.com product pages increased conversion rates by 25%, as well as leading to a reduction in the number of returns. 

Optimise video for SEO

Adding video to product pages provides more opportunities for search engine indexing, and there are ways that retailers can maximise the SEO value. 

For example, Simplyhike has several product videos, and these appear frequently in product searches on Google: 

There are several factors that determine where your product video will rank in search results: 

  • Metadata: video title and description tags. 
  • Number of comments and shares.
  • Backlinks.
  • Date added.
  • View count.
  • Rating and flagging (where applicable).
  • Incoming links (exposure on other sites, other embeds, RSS links).

Not every one of these factors can be controlled, as many are down to actions that viewers take and this places even greater importance on the content of the video.

This post has 12 useful tips on optimising product videos for SEO. 

Show the product in use

For many products, people want to see it being used so they can make an informed decision. 

This demo of a Kayak on the REI site provides an opportunity for people to see that the product works, looks good, while also explaining the various features and key selling points: 

Embed video into product pages

This is better from an SEO perspective, and it makes for a better user experience than opening up a pop-up window to showcase videos. 

For example, by simply linking to an advert hosted on YouTube instead of embedding, Smyths is missing out on some of the SEO benefits, and actually taking users away from the product page: 

M&S does this better, hosting the videos itself, but they open up in a new window: 

ASOS provides a better example on its product pages. Videos are embedded, load quickly, and can be viewed there and then on the page. 

This also means that, if they like what they see on the film, the add to bag button is right in front of them.

Provide instructional videos for complex products

Think of the doubts and questions that customers may have when viewing a particular product page, and how video can address them. 

Instructional videos which demonstrate products in action and provide instructions for use and assembly can overcome any doubts that customers may have. 

For example, Simply Group uses specialist advisors to create videos for its product pages showcasing the various features. 

For this backpack, it means that shoppers can see hw much it can carry, the number of pockets, zips etc. The addition of videos like this led to a 25% uplift in conversion rates. 

Kiddicare understands the questions that customers will have when buying products like prams and 'travel systems' online. It's not possible to test the item as you would be able to in store, but the videos are designed to overcome this. 

The videos for travel systems and other products are very detailed, showing how it folds, the accessories that come with it, all important for the parent deciding whether to buy. In addition, the videos have been split into four so that customers can just skip to the relevant section. 

Use UGC when appropriate

User generated videos are a great tool when used well. They are cheap to produce, show shoppers that other people have purchased and enjoyed the product. 

The fact that videos are being submitted regularly, as well as the comments and ratings around them are also an indicator of page freshness for Google. 

This approach works really well on gadgets and gifts site Firebox, and fits perfectly with its brand image. 

Firebox offers the chance to win a £50 voucher for people who submit product videos, so there are plenty on the site, though thankfully none for this item

Graham Charlton

Published 24 August, 2011 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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Comments (15)

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Nick Stamoulis

Videos are such a great tool for so many reasons. They really liven up a product page and keep your visitor engaged for that much longer. Plus, since they can rank in the search engines, they can increase brand awareness and build your online presence.

almost 7 years ago



The rise (or re-emergence) of videos on websites can be a bonus to a website. But it's not for everybody.
As long as, like Flash, designers don't just put videos onto sites because they can.
Be selective!

almost 7 years ago


J.B. Siegel

Even better they can drive new revenue streams to your existing business model or allow you to expand your business model online and to take advantage of new video-based services.

Creating and driving the traffic is great and selling a product is even better, but what if you could build an on-going relationship with those customers and add value to them via your video based service offerings.

almost 7 years ago


Tim Cross

Surely the end goal should be to have your own URL showing in the search results not YouTube etc. How many more conversions would the simply group get from universal search if they were sending users straight to their site? My guess is A LOT!

almost 7 years ago


Jamie Willsher

Whilst I believe the addition of video can have a positive impact on the perception of a brand and/or featured product, i still have reservations over the conversion increases etc. that are quoted for video. Invariably the introduction of video is in tandem with product page or full site redesigns , both of which i believe are likely to have bigger conversion impacts, if these increases have been tested using MVT methods then I stand corrected, however investigations that I have done in the past tend to show that this is not the case. The other thing that is always worth bearing in mind in the cost of production vs. the sales uplift.

almost 7 years ago


Steffan Aquarone

Great post Graham, with some fantastic practical tips as always!

Measurement is key here. Some products may not sell better with video (although most will, with the right content). Using an online video platform that can plug into your analytics package will help you measure improvement in conversion and improve your content in turn.

YouTube is fantastic for seeding social video, but entirely the wrong approach for embedding video into product pages on your own site - because YouTube exists to drive clicks on Google's Adwords network, using YouTube to embed video in your site is like drilling a hole in your bucket of potential customers.

Although quality is a variable (not a necessity) in online video in general, think carefully about the effect that production values will have on your audience and their perceptions. Are 'in house' produced product videos the digital equivalent of the hand-written "Out of order sign" on the toilet door of a luxury department store?

almost 7 years ago

Anders Bach Waagstein

Anders Bach Waagstein, Head of Ecommerce at AO Johansen

Another important thing I would like to add to the blog post is that beside SEO effects in terms of better rankings and the increased onsite conversion there are also the improved CTR. ComScore points at much better CTR from a search result page on video compared to text. Actually since the implementation of Google Instant clicks on video results has increased 28%.

You'll see the CTR improvement on newsletters as well. Forrester did a test an saw 2-3 times better performance.

almost 7 years ago


Paul Nicolson

There is no doubt in my mind that video options are attractive to customers online. There is only so much content people want to read and often video gives more information faster. Video and 360/3D imaging is an even better combo, giving interactivity to the customer experience, as can be seen on the Simply websites. I believe if the website is well laid out, with good content and a good product, these additions will have an effect on sales conversions and dwell time.

almost 7 years ago


Stuart Maister

There's a lot of research to show video can increase conversion rates and dwell time and certainly we've proven that with our own clients. There's a lot of other work which suggests visitors are also more likely to respond in other desirable ways - we've just completed a project where the client reports an increase in calls into the call centre, where they have a very high conversion rate.

However, beyond the research is simple common sense. If you're considering a purchase, being able to see it used and demonstrated is the next best thing to going along to the shop and doing so for yourself. This is especially true with devices such as the iPad where we all expect to simply push on the image and see it come to life - it's disappointing if it doesn't move.

almost 7 years ago


Nicole Prior

We find that a product video acts a validator in the purchase journey.

The user tends to make their way through the research phase and at the point of buying, the product video validates all the questions that are still outstanding, and exceeds the buyers expectations by providing information that cannot be communicated through 300 words of copy.

We've seen a positive uplift in conversion due to our videos and love to know our customers are 100% happy when they hit that buy button.

almost 7 years ago


David Power

We created a web video to go on the amazon store for a customer and our client had feedback directly from amazon that the video increased sales! They was reluctant to release the data which is frustrating. You can read the blog on our site if you wish:


almost 7 years ago


Susan Weinschenk

Great stats and examples. I just wrote a blog post about the research on why videos are so persuasive -- the impact of videos on our brains and memory.

almost 7 years ago


Christiaan Harden

I find it amazing how many business that aren't using video to sell their products online.

The evidence is clear that, done correctly, you're almost guaranteed a good return on your investment.

Why wouldn't you want to view a video of something before you purchase it?

almost 7 years ago


Mike Todd

I do think this is still an emerging area. It's clear that it works. Effective SEO and all the rest can still give first mover advantage in some areas but as video becomes more ubiquitous, quality and inventiveness will, inevitably, out.

almost 7 years ago


Mike Pedersen

I am a big believer in online video, and am working hard now to implement more on my site, as I have over 40 on youtube. Need to get a better understanding of how to optimize video on my site to get rankings.

almost 7 years ago

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