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