September 1, 2011, 10:55 AM

When it comes to product videos, the narrator matters

EyeBuyDirect.com finds that a male narrator leads to a higher conversion rate than a woman.

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As e-retailers strive to find the best and most efficient means to leverage videos to attract sales, EyeBuyDirect.com is tackling a question more basic to the e-commerce technology: Do consumers prefer a male or female voice for the video’s narration?

The online eyewear retailer uses automated product video technology from Treepodia. The technology includes A/B testing services that enable EyeBuyDirect to create multiple versions of product videos to determine which videos perform best. “If Treepodia detects that the alternate video is starting to produce higher conversions, it will switch the two so the alternate video is offered to visitors more frequently, and the other video is served up less often,” says a spokeswoman for the vendor.

The retailer recently tested the effect of a change in narrator for two product videos running approximately 30 seconds each that feature the type of chunky black frames longed loved by librarians, Buddy Holly imitators and hipsters. “EyeBuyDirect is proud to present these fashion frames,” says the narrator in each video, one with a crisp male voice, the other with a smoother female voice. “They are a must-have item for any fashionista.”

In this case, the male-narrated product video won out when it came to winning sales. That video has achieved a 9.28% conversion rates, compared with a 2.78% conversion rate for the female-narrated video. There was no immediate comment about why that might be.

Besides using videos to showcase products, EyeBuyDirect.com also has used the e-commerce technology to tie consumers closer to the retailer. Early this year, the online retailer organized a contest in which eyeglass wearers submitted videos explaining the steps they take to avoid entangling their eyeglass frames with those of their loved ones. Participants could win vouchers good toward purchases at the e-commerce site.

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