July 31, 2008, 12:00 AM

Online product demo videos help to drive sales up 36% at Ritz Interactive

Online product demonstration videos funded by suppliers, along with strategies in search marketing and alternative payment offerings, drove up sales 36% year-over-year through June, Ritz Interactive says.

Online product demonstration videos funded by its suppliers, along with strategies in search marketing and offerings in alternative payments, drove up sales 36% year-over-year through June at Ritz Interactive, senior vice president and chief marketing officer Andre Brysha says.

Ritz is deploying more than 200 product demonstration videos or “active product tours” from Sellpoint Inc. on items including digital cameras, camcorders, global positioning satellite devices and Bluetooth headsets from manufacturers such as Canon, Pentax, Magellan and Fuji. The product tours, which can include three-dimensional imaging as well as full-motion videos, are designed to provide online shoppers an experience similar to the hands-on treatment they can receive in a physical store, Brysha says.

“Our online customers are looking to get the same level of knowledgeable service and advice that they are accustomed to getting at top specialty brick and mortar retailers.” he says. “This rich product information gives them a similar level of confidence knowing that they are armed with all the information they need to make an informed purchase decision.”


Since first implementing the Sellpoint product demos in 2004, “we have seen our online customers spend more time on our product pages, visiting more related accessory pages and ultimately having an improved shopping experience,” Brysha says. “We have seen an increase in conversion rates and decrease in returns.”


Sellpoint, which earns its revenue in fees paid by the manufacturers whose products appear in the demos, has replaced an earlier system under which Ritz had to contact each manufacturer separately for updated content about products to appear in demos. Ritz sells about 60,000 to 70,000 products overall, Brysha says.


The Sellpoint system uploads updated product demo videos onto the Ritz Interactive e-commerce platform, and automatically scans the retailer’s online content to make its demos appear with an on-button on pertinent product pages, Brysha says.


The product demos have been a key part of building sales this year, along with a strong search marketing program and alternative payment features including the BillMeLater invoicing service and the third-party payment service PayPal, Brysha says.



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