When I wrote up the first part of this interesting whitepaper from Invodo, (Retail Video Builds Consumer Confidence & Aids in E-Commerce Purchase Decisions) I said I’d be back with part two which looked at the more technical aspects of online video for shopping from a consumer’s perspective, so here we are.

The first article talked about video’s impact on things like brand awareness, purchase intent, etc. But the other three insights from the whitepaper talk about some things that you as a video content creator need to think about and so I broke them out to their own article here.

Insight #3: Video Quality Matters

There was some recent research which looked at the difference in professionally-made and user-generated content and the synergy between them. Here in the Invodo paper they looked at the actual content as well as the production values. It turns out that shorter video, with more information, perform better in our time-starved society. But it’s no surprise that some people think higher production value means better content. That would be the crowd that doesn’t see the sense in paying for IFC on cable and instead dumps cash on HBO or Showtime. I’m not saying they don’t have quality content, I’m saying that the stuff on IFC might not look up to the same quality though tell stories just as good or perhaps better.

Now Invodo’s study didn’t discount user-generated video and its value, in fact, 41% stated that they strongly or somewhat agreed it was from peers it was authentic and so they were likely to watch it. That’s opposed to the 53% who said pro-made video is preferable, merely because it’s ‘more polished’ which does not speak to the actual content of the video whatsoever. The way the statements are worded doesn’t say one is better than the other but you could infer that from the results.

Other facets of the video also come into play in regards to likelihood of viewing, most notably quality and length at 73% and 70% respectively. However, just behind that were product demonstrations and sound quality. Light, was somewhat underrated and only affected 60% of the people.

So it seems that even the user-generated content needs to attain some unknown level of production values. That’s a given anyway since you need the video to be good enough to be believable and interesting, right?

Insight #4: While the Product Page Receives the Greatest Attention Many Locations Merit Video Integration

Video placement seems to be key as well as its content. One-third responded positively in regards to watching video on a brand page, 47% did so on a product page and a full half (51%) said they’ve watched videos on the home page. Less interesting placements included category pages, customer service areas and FAQs.

In terms of telling consumers that there is video available, they least liked a small icon (36%) or a text link (42%) stating that video was available. Instead, they were rather fond of (64%) a button, not far behind that (61%) was simply embedding the video in the page. Large icons were OK most of the time (58%) as was placing the video pre-fold, (59%).

So you need to take a look at not only which pages, but how and where on the page you’re putting these videos you have to help sell product.

Insight #5: Beyond the Site Experiences Receive Substantial Consumer Attention

The final insight looked more at social media, extending the video and value beyond the site and looking elsewhere to help expand your brand’s reach. However, email is not the way to go it seems as a full 67% said they had not (in the last 3 months) clicked a link in an email to view a video. Honestly, I don’t blame them. Given the social conditioning that was done in the 80s and 90s to not click email links because of the spread of viruses, it’s no surprise that most won’t do it. Even though anti-virus programs have come a long way and YouTube embeds right into Gmail messages, I still don’t see it as being the favorable way to get the video to the masses.

Social media itself proves to be a good time sink, especially YouTube and Facebook coming in at 47% and 39% in terms of “amount of time – all of/often/sometimes” on them. Others like Google+ and MySpace fared less favorably at just 26% and way down on the bottom was Twitter with just 17%.

Again, it seems logical to me. Twitter is an odd beast that not everyone appreciates. I use it mostly for marketing of my articles and Gamers Daily News. I almost never have a conversation and rarely ever find media there. The other category that includes Google+ and MySpace had a stunning 62% of people never going to them (Twitter had 76% but didn’t surprise me). That just goes to show why Google is now pushing everyone to have a G+ account even if you just want to upload videos to YouTube.

Video viewing numbers ran surprisingly similar to that graph above.

Twins Basil, Twins! – Austin Powers

That’s just weird, right? It seems like they’ve targeted the exact percentage of people who only use social media to watch product videos. The numbers are identical!

Finally, they poked about at mobile video, and showed that their audience is really skewed because 51% have not watched any product videos on their smartphones. Then again, that could be 51% that don’t even have a smartphone I suppose. It’s not, it’s actually 51% of the 62% who have smartphones. For those too lazy for math on the Thursday, that’s 326 people that didn’t.

On the flip side, 49% did watch a product video on their smartphones (it’s Thursday, that’s a day of optimism right?)… Yaa!

Now, no report would be complete these days without tablet video consumption. Oddly, less people did not view a video on a tablet than on a smartphone, but around half as many people had them. Yeah, just look at this chart.


That’s a wrap

This puts the lid on another thousand word epic. I hope that this information proves useful for some of you. But remember, the Invodo methodology was a bit on the limited side. I’ll quote my section from the previous article:

In November, 2011 an online survey was fielded to 1,039 consumers (50% female/50% male). Respondents were qualified as having watched product videos on retail or brand manufacturer websites.

There’s a good demographic breakdown in the paper as well and it shows the consumers involved were disproportionately in the over $50,000 a year category with just 35% under that number. That could be as high as 44% though as 9% did not state income range. There’s a major caveat to this research. They often say things like one in three consumers blah blah blah. But what they really mean are “one in three consumers (who qualified for the survey by having watched product videos on retail or brand manufacturer websites).” So don’t forget that last part when you read it.

Again, if you want the whole whitepaper just head over to the Delivering Superior Shopping Experiences Via Video: Consumer Insights and Retail Execution page and download it.