June 13, 2003, 12:00 AM

What’s a moving picture worth? About 19%, eBags finds

In a classic marketing A/B test, sales were 19% higher for eBags` Professional 22 Upright bag when shoppers were presented with an option to view an online pop-up video product demonstration vs. when they did not receive the option.


In a 6-week test, eBags.com saw an almost 20% lift in sales of a bag for which online shoppers viewed a product demonstration video over shoppers who didn’t view the video. The pop-up video featuring the eBags Professional 22 Upright bag, which shoppers in the test could choose to launch on the item’s product page, was deployed on online multimedia provider Vendaria Inc.’s platform.

Vendaria’s technology, developed to enable online video for lower-speed connections, does not require a plug-in or broadband to enable viewing. In the eBags test, the pop-up video loaded up in about 12 seconds and lasted for about 60 seconds, says Vendaria CEO Cary Roth. During the test, half the eBag visitors who viewed the item’s product page saw a version that featured a button that could launch the video and half did not. At the end of 6 weeks, the product pages with the pop-up window resulted in 19% more sales than the product pages that did not offer the video.

EBags didn’t disclose actual conversion rates. However, Vendaria marketing manager Todd Sawicki says that in several online tests and installations of the pop-up videos at a variety of clients, conversion rates typically lift in a range of .5% to 4% among shoppers who engage the tool. Typically, 15% of visitors use the button when it`s offered, he adds. Efforts to boost the percentage of visitors who click the pop-up video button are the focus of ongoing usability research, he says.

“This is a phenomenal spike in sales in such a short period of time,” says Peter Cobb, eBags co-founder and vice president of marketing. “We are partnering with Vendaria because their point-of-purchase videos are a proven method of increasing sales.”

EBags and Vendaria hope to use the eBags test to interest other bag manufacturers in sponsoring the technology on other eBags product pages; Vendaria’s business model is manufacturer-supported and free to the online retailer. The company already provides its pop-up video technology on the eBags site to support the product pages of manufacturers including Tumi and Eagle Creek.


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