How to use video to effectively drive online sales

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December 24, 2014
How to use video to effectively drive online sales.
Video continues to grow in popularity as an effective way to share information online. When it comes to promoting and selling products or services a video, or a series, can help spell out details, in addition to imbuing them with a cinematic dimension. Ecommerce websites are especially suited to use the benefits that videos afford. Video is most effective when it’s used in one of these key ways:
  1. Explanation: Defining and describing a product or service is a staple rationale to utilizing video. Literally, the nuts-and-bolts mechanics of an object can be elegantly represented in a video, such as Nest’s filmic summary about how to install their thermostat.
  2. Ambiance: Beyond demonstrating functionality, video can help visitors visualize the character of a brand and imbue an appropriate mood. On certain pages of Apple’s product portfolio, the videos portray creativity and the rich expression it feeds. This is the kind of dynamic aesthetic that the videos readily support and riff on.
  3. Orientation: Video can also facilitate a sensibility, as in Nude Audio’s case, where their videos elevate the polished still images of their product portfolio. Each video coheres with a specific product and stages it in order to influence the viewer’s imagination on how the product can be used.


1_Harvest_Video-in-eCommerce Harvest is a web-based tool for online time tracking and invoicing. Their homepage invites prospective customers to view a short film. It shows a scenario, starring their product as an integral part of a common workflow involving common roles, clearly labeled: designer, project manager, client. Selected features are shown as the scenario progresses, smoothly wrapping up in under two minutes.


2_Fifty-Three_Video-in-eCommerce The intuitive and physical nature of Fifty Three’s iPad stylus, Pencil, are fully shown in a video posted on their website. A particularly delightful aspect is the demonstration of lively gestural motions from using the stylus that the video effectively captures.


3_Nest_Video-in-eCommerce Video can be used to virtually provide a product demonstration. The Nest thermostat is a sensor-driven system for the home. Its online video tour shows off the product’s features, particularly focusing on the thermostat’s capabilities to self-learn and automate interior temperature. 4_Nest-store_Video-in-eCommerce Nest also provides customers with a helpful how-to video about installation. The outline consists of four main topics that are concisely narrated as a multimedia slideshow.


5_Nude-Audio_Video-in-eCommerce Nude Audio makes portable Bluetooth speakers. When you view a product from its “Move Collection,” you see a video playing behind its description. The video, acting as a backdrop, allows the viewer to glean a sense of the speaker’s scale.


6_Apple_Video-in-eCommerce Video is a staple of Apple’s website. Complementing their keynote presentations and TV ads, certain product areas of their website have sections dedicated to showcasing videos. Examples: the default page of iPhone displays a cue to watch a film, and the coverpage for the iPad Air has “Videos” as part of this product section’s navigation.

How to use video

Every video will help to evoke a tone, crafted to align to the company and their identity or image. When used as part of an expression-making toolkit, video provides another opportunity of discovery, adjacent to other complementary ways of displaying information and visualizing a narrative voice. Videography is a companion method of communication to copywriting, photography, and illustration. What differentiates videography is the potential for moving image and sound to galvanize positive impressions. Every bit of this counts in compelling an eCommerce site’s visitor to consider any and all actions of transaction: signing up, advertising, sponsoring, subscribing, completing checkout—to be ultimately persuaded.

Nate Burgos

Nate Burgos runs Design Feast, his long-term project dedicated to creative culture. He wrote “Scratch your niche: Fun and fulfillment through Web-based projects.” He also self-published “BROKEN: Navigating the ups and downs of the circus called work.” Follow Nate on Twitter and Facebook.

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