Zappos.com is famous for many reasons. The #1 reason may be the fact that it was one of the first online stores to offer free returns, making it easy for customers to overcome the limitation of not holding the product in their hands before committing to pay for it. The #2 reason for Zappos’ fame is its use of product videos that are focused on solving the exact same problem as the free returns – helping customers shift away from the brick-and-mortar store mentality.
The results were astonishing: an increase of 6%-30% in conversion. That is significant for a company that exceeds a billion dollars in annual sales. Thus far, Zappos has produced over 200,000 product videos and is well on its way to reaching the 250,000 videos goal.
Zappos considers video to be a vital part of its marketing efforts for two reasons. “Although we have seen an increase in conversion, what’s more important is the decrease in returns we’ve noticed. Regardless of conversion and free returns, if a customer receives a product they are unhappy with – they can become disenchanted,” said Laurie Williams, Senior Manager of Photo & Video for Zappos.
But the decision to produce videos is only one step in an organisation’s video strategy. No doubt it’s an important one, but, the way they are used to drive traffic, how they are presented on the page and the player’s performance could have a huge impact on video consumption on your website.
One of the best ways to make these decisions is by performing A/B testing: the same method that has become instrumental for UI designers and marketers in organisations such as Netflix, Google and Amazon to examine how design impacts user behaviour could also work well when examining the ROI for your video investment.
Surprisingly, when it comes to video usage, A/B testing is not as common as you might think. However, there are some good examples of tests that could help you understand what factors impact video consumption and engagement.
1. Promise Videos
Video is a great way to get the customer to stay on your site longer and ultimately drive conversion. A good way to do that is by clearly communicating to the user that there are video previews available. Sometimes another word or video icon can make a big difference. For example, the site SixPackAbsExercises.com did a split testing on a sales page. As part of the test, the site tested two different versions of the same button:
1. The control was: “Next Page Read Sample of Book”;
2. Variation 1 was: “Watch Video Preview”;
3. Variation 2 was: “Watch my #1 Abs Exercise On Video”.
The best-performing variation (variation 1, see above) increased conversion by 14.18%, which clearly shows how “watching a video” is so much more attractive than reading a “sample of book”.