Offering online videos is the best way to answer customers’ questions that regular product descriptions simply can’t, such as “Why is this shoe right for me?” says Peter Leech, chief marketing officer of OnlineShoes.com.
“There are lots of ways to use video,” he says. “Retailers use it for branding, as a home page component, to answer customer service questions, and for search engine optimization to generate linkable content. We use it to some degree for all these purposes, but our focus is at the product level-selling key products tactically.” Leech says video is the best way to answer a consumer’s key questions that text simply won’t address: What’s unique about this product? What kind of benefits does it carry? What’s changed from the last version of this particular shoe?
OnlineShoes.com, No. 134 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, introduced product videos on its web site a year ago. The video clips, developed in-house with vendor partner Liveclicker, are typically 30-40 seconds long and include scripted audio describing product features. They can be viewed by clicking the video link above the image on product pages. While the styles and purposes of each video vary, the retailer’s overall goal is clear: make online shoe shopping easier for customers, Leech says.
The retailer developed its video site, OnlineShoes.tv, around the same time it made product videos available on OnlineShoes.com. At OnlineShoes.tv, a customer can search among more than 100 product videos and can also find a variety of specialty, branding, and public relations videos. One of the most watched videos on the site gives viewers Earth Day tips for staying eco-friendly. All videos are designed to be easy to share, with separate “Email a Friend” and “Download to iPhone” links under the video player, along with links to Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and other social media outlets.
All of these options are designed to make the online shopping experience as helpful as possible, Leech says.
So far, OnlineShoes.com describes its use of video as a success, but still a work in progress. “We’re satisfied with what we’ve accomplished with video and the feedback we’ve received,” Leech says, “but we know it can be much bigger.”