Deploying ecommerce video online is no longer only the domain of top retailers.
In fact, shrinking costs and rising benefits of video has spurred many smaller businesses into action, with 73 percent of online retailers using video on product pages this year, an impressive jump from 55 percent in 2010, according to eMarketer.
However, plunking a clunky, homemade video onto your website isn't necessarily going to improve your ROI, but with a little effort you can clearly measure success with four basic metrics: conversion rate, shopping cart abandonment rate, site traffic, and view-through rate.
Measuring conversion rates
Ice.com found that consumers who viewed videos on their site converted at a 400 percent increase over those who did not. Ice.com also credits video with decreasing returns by 25 percent, according to an internal study.
Adding video to your product page is a proven way to increase the percentage of shoppers that end their visit with a purchase, but measuring success can be tricky for newcomers lacking historical data.
If you're now gearing up your ecommerce efforts, consider measuring conversion rate data with A/B testing. Create a product page that includes video half of the time the page is served. Then compare the conversion rate for customers who had a video option with conversion rates for those that did not have that option. This sort of test could also be used to compare the success different videos.
You can take the analysis one step further by comparing the conversion rate of shoppers who watched at least a portion of the video to the conversion rate for shoppers that did not watch the video at all.
No carts left behind
According to an eMarketer report benefits of adding video include: "lower number of abandoned shopping carts, reduced return rates, and higher sales."
The primary reasons online retailers are forcefully fighting shopping cart abandonment is widely thought to be due to customer uncertainty: they don't trust the merchant; suddenly the are unsure of the product's value; or worse don't understand the product.
The addition of a well-thought out product video can go a long way in shaping shoppers' opinions. Much like measuring conversions, you can measure the affects product videos have on shopping cart abandonment by comparing historical data, using A/B tests, and monitoring differences in abandonment rates for shoppers that watched and didn't watch a video.
Pump up the volume
According to recent study conducted by the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization, 42 percent of marketers said bringing traffic to their sites is the main goal of employing an online marketing plan.
Search engines are designed to provide the most relevant content among a seemingly endless stream of interconnected pages on the Web. By adding a video element to an ecommerce site you will improve SEO performance for the keywords associated with the video, as well as content around the video.
In order to monitor the video's success, monitor traffic from search engines such as Google and Bing after adding a video and compare to the page's performance before the video.
Shoppers who view videos at Onlineshoes.com convert at a 45 percent higher rate than other shoppers, and the site has seen a 359 percent year-over-year increase in video views, according to a study by the company. Product pages with video have higher conversion rates than product pages without video.
Don't underestimate the importance of the video's view-through rate (VTR). The VTR is the number of videos watched divided by the number of impressions (times a page loaded with a video) and if you can optimize for VTR, you'll increase your conversion rate as well.
If you monitor the VTR metrics, it will help you determine how effective your video is in terms of placement, if it influences response to your calls to action, and other elements that ideally will keep viewers watching.