February 17, 2012, 4:00 PM

IRWD 2012: Easy ways to improve the value of video

Use attention-getting icons to showcase videos, says one speaker.

Lead Photo

Sometimes the little things make a big difference. That’s what Shannon Wu-Lebron, director of ecommerce searchandising, at Office Depot Inc., found out as the e-retailer began adding product videos to it e-commerce site.

In Office Depot’s situation, Wu-Lebron discovered that placing buttons identifying videos high on the page, above the fold where the viewer doesn’t have to scroll down the page, doubled view rates. Wu- Lebron shared her insight this week at the Internet Retailer Web Design and Usability Conference 2012 in Orlando, FL.

Office Depot, No. 5 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide calls out which products have videos with a small box labeled Video next to product images. And Office Depot does not restrict videos to product detail pages. Clicking the Tech Best Sellers tab on the Technology category page shows that a video is available for a laser printer. After clicking the Video button, a pop-up window appears for viewing the video without leaving the original page.

In another example, Office Depot offers a video to help educate consumers about the attributes of different types of printer paper. “You can use video for just about any product,” Wu-Lebron says, not just for complex and expensive items.

She also advises capitalizing on search engine optimization to ensure the e-retailer’s videos also appears in search engine results. “Create and submit a video site map, and follow Google’s best practices,” she says.

Her other advice is to promote the site’s video content across all channels, including e-mail and on other sites, such as affiliates.

Wu-Lebron also suggests that e-retailers start small with online videos, and measure the results to ensure the videos are helping the e-commerce site.

Online video is effective for e-retailers because most consumers learn through visual and auditory means rather than by reading text, says Craig Wax, CEO of Invodo, which sells online video services to retailers.

Based on Invodo’s research, about 10% of site visitors say they learn from text, with 25% citing auditory and 65% citing visual methods as the primary way they absorb new information.

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