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 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’.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.