Lights, Camera, Action! Putting Video to Work In Your Site Search

Posted by Steve Groenier, April 20th, 2012 at 11:26 am PST
Categories: eCommerce, Site Search, Site Search Tips | No Comments »
   

Now that many retailers have made video a key component in their merchandising strategy, we are seeing more studies about the impact that video is having.  According to a recent study by e-commerce video provider Invodo, 52% of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in their online purchase decisions. For some, video has been found to have a tremendous impact on improving conversion rates. In one study conducted by housewares e-tailer StacksAndStacks.com, visitors were 144% more likely to purchase after seeing a product video than those who did not. And these are just a couple of many stories you’ll find with a simple Google search for “video increase conversion.”

Stories like these certainly are great news for those retailers who have made the effort to produce videos and now have a growing library of video content to show their customers.  For those who have not made that investment yet, you now have plenty of evidence to make a strong business case for it.

For most retailers, their focus has been on producing quality videos and figuring out how to incorporate these videos into their product landing pages.  However, few of them have picked up on a little idea to get even more value from their video.  And that idea is to merchandise their video through their site search.

It’s been over two years since Shaun Ryan blogged about “Incorporating video into site search” where he showed an example from etrailer.com that included a tiny “TV” icon next to the caption of products that included video.  For many SLI Systems customers, this may have been the spark that got them to think creatively about how to merchandise their videos. As a result, we now have many more examples of the creative ways retailers can incorporate video into their site search results.

The evolution of the example from etrailer.com has been to include a video thumbnail into the search listing that includes video. In the example below from Cruiser Customizing, you can see a video thumbnail directly below the product image.

cruisercustomizing-video-icon

To enable customers to see this video quickly, Cruiser Customizing made this thumbnail an active link that starts playing the video over the search results when clicked.

cruisercustomizing-video-play

A simpler and elegant way to show that a product contains a video can be seen in this example from Motorcycle Superstore.  They have included a field in their data feed to indicate the presence of a video.  Then, based on that information, SLI displays a graphic overlay above the product image with blue “Video” flag.

motorcycle-superstore-video-flag

To make video an integral part of the search experience, some now show videos related to the search results is a separate section on the results page as well as behind a video tab.  In the example below from 24 Hour Fitness, this video results section appears below their page results.

24hour-fitness-inline-video

An example of showing videos behind a tab can be seen below from the bead and jewelry supply retailer Artbeads.com.  These videos which show up in a search for “earring” are designed to help teach customers how to make jewelry.

artbeads-video-tab

If the thought of incorporating video into your site search results raises concerns about the time and technical resources you will need, you may be surprised to find out how easily it can be done.  For retailers like Artbeads.com who have created a large video library on YouTube, getting this content integrated into their site search was as simple as making a call to their SLI Client Services Manager and sharing the link to their YouTube page.  SLI is then able to crawl their YouTube page to gather all of the video content and ensure that new videos find their way into the search results automatically.

It’s exciting to see all of the creative ways retailers are now putting video to work in their site search and it will be interesting to see how this evolves in the coming years.  With the mass adoption of tablets, whose users have an even greater appetite for video, I’m sure we will begin to see an even greater penetration of video shown in the search results of tablet optimized e-commerce sites.

If you’ve seen a creative use of video in site search results, please share that with us in the comments below.

   

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