9/24/07

Online video can close sales, but challenges abound

Online video complements product offerings for 2nd Wind Exercise Equipment, but the learning curve for developing product demos in-house was “horrendous.”

Don Davis , Editor in Chief

Online video complements product offerings for multi-channel retailer 2nd Wind Exercise Equipment, but the learning curve for developing product demos in-house was “horrendous,” says Adam Lindquist, director of business development. On the plus side, he says, “When you use video on a site it’s helping to close the sale. The customer can see the product in action.”

2nd Wind began in 1992 as a retailer of mostly used exercise equipment and has evolved into a high-end specialty exercise equipment merchant that sells new equipment almost exclusively. The company began using video in 2005 for describing and differentiating among types of equipment.

Standalone online video is paying off for 2nd Wind, Lindquist says. The site logs 6,000 to 8,000 views a month. More important, he notes, “a person who looks at it stays onsite six times longer.”

Once 2nd Wind started using online video for product demonstrations, other uses for the technology came to mind. “We use it to post our TV commercials, to show sales specials, and on the service side as an instructional aid for customers,” Lindquist says. The company also uses video to communicate with its 110 physical stores in the upper Midwest, for instance by giving them access to videos supplied by manufacturers.

2nd Wind also includes videos of beginner exercises in e-mails it sends to customers as a sales follow-up, he adds. Juice Media Worldwide LLC, a web marketing provider, designed an e-mail marketing platform for the e-retailer. The provider also helped 2nd Wind develop some of its video technology and the e-retailer now has its own studio to create product demo videos, Lindquist says.

When e-retailers start down the online video road they encounter technological potholes at every turn. And when 2nd Wind began creating videos company staffers found few models to guide them. “In the beginning there was a horrendous learning curve on how to make them,” Lindquist says. “We had to dedicate someone to the job because creating them was unbelievably difficult. Then once videos are produced they eat a lot of bandwidth.”

Topics:

Electronic commerce, marketing, Online shopping, Technology Internet

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