Product Videos Online Boost Purchase Confidence

A new Whitepaper from the e-Tailing Group and Invodo notes that consumer consumption of video has exploded over the past few years. YouTube says over 4 billion hours of video are watched each month. The e-tailing group 2012 Mystery Shopping review revealed that 70% of retailers, versus 59% in 2011, made video part of their shopping experience in the past year.

Online Product Videos Impact On Online Shopping (% of Online Shoppers, 2012; Strongly/Somewhat Agree)

Product Video Consumer Perception

% Agree

More confident if watch before purchase/less likely to return


More confident in purchase made after watching


Willing to stay on website longer if product video available


More engaged with retailer/brand mfg after product video


More likely to return to retailer if product video integrated


Purchase more on websites with product video


Spend more time on websites with product video


Purchase products online being influenced by videos on these sites


Source: Invodo/e-tailing, March 2013

Knowledge of consumer viewership helps to provide future direction to the industry, especially given that retailers are increasingly shifting their emphasis and investments to product videos. In addition, the awareness of the product page structure, including where on the page video best engages and converts shoppers, becomes an important aspect of promotion planning.

Video Viewership/Trends

  • Consumer interest in video has grown exponentially year-over-year (number of videos watched, time spent watching, category consumption, etc.)
  • Consumers watch video in more locations and across more channels than ever
  • Consumers expect retailers to have broader video coverage across a growing number of categories

An overview of the major findings of the study includes:

  • Consumer preference for video centers on product page integration rather than on advertising or banner-driven models
  • Customer engagement is greater on retail sites with video, and viewers are more likely to purchase
  • Product videos must contain complete information in order for shoppers to make confident buying decisions
  • Among online video formats, product videos have the greatest potential to inform and convert shoppers
  • Key elements of a successful product page video include showing the product and demonstrating the features in a simple, non-distracting environment (as opposed to a “branding” experience)
  • People are more inclined to share video vs. static images

And, considering videos beyond websites, the study found that:

  • Smartphones serve as an excellent cross-channel conduit and a quick video viewing channel for consumers
  • Tablets will play an increasing role in video consumption as shoppers find tablets to be an ideal device for video viewership and subsequent purchasing

Simply put, says the report, consumers are willing to watch videos more often and for longer periods of time across an array of categories. 

Frequency of Watching Product Videos on Retail or Brand Sites (% of Respondents, 2012)


% of Respondents

All the time


Most of the time


Some of the time


Once in a while




Source: Invodo/e-tailing, March 2013

One in three consumers watch video all or most of the time it is encountered. Beyond that, 52% engage with video in the purchasing path with some regularity, and nearly 9 out of 10 watch at least once in a while. It is rare that consumers do not connect with product videos, says the report, reinforcing that they are poised for shopper involvement. These factors, and the overall incremental gains in video viewership, suggest the timing is right to delve deeper into retail video execution, concludes the report.

Product Videos Watched on Retailer or Brand Websites in Previous Three Months, 2012

Number Watched

% of Respondents











Source: Invodo/e-tailing, March 2013

Compared to 2011, video consumption has increased, driven in part by the habitual video users who consume 8+ videos per month on retail sites.

69% of consumers watch videos two or more times for information-intensive products, such as appliances or consumer electronics, before purchasing. This trend toward repetitive video consumption is significant and may indicate that consumers are seeking out and engaging with video earlier in the purchase cycle.

Consumers are willing to spend the greatest amount of time on product/category video that provides educational value. Video is clearly suited for this task, and customers recognize the benefits of watching a video of this nature. Consumers are willing to spend at least two minutes watching any variety of product or brand video 

Time Spent Watching Product Videos by Type

Type of Video

Time Spent (Minutes)

Videos that educate a particular category planning to purchase


Videos that include demonstration


Videos that support a brand’s value proposition


Videos that don’t contain a demonstration


Source: Invodo/e-tailing, March 2013

Examining viewership by product category, the report shows that consumer electronics, computer hardware/software, automotive, music/DVDs/videos, and clothing & accessories categories top the list.

Videos Watched By Product Category in Previous Three Months (Multiple Response OK)

Product Category

% of Respondents Watched

Consumer electronics


Computer hardware/software






Accessories (men, women, kids)




Toys, video games


Health and Beauty items




Sports/outdoor gear










Pet supplies


Luxury items


Gift cards/certificates




Source: Invodo/e-tailing, March 2013

The Whitepaper summarizes by noting that video’s impact on consumers’ decision-making and purchasing processes continues to increase and shows no sign of slowing. Shoppers are viewing more video across a growing range of categories with higher frequency and for longer periods than ever before. The product page takes center stage, with the majority of consumers agreeing that it is the perfect location for product video viewership. Smartphones and tablets also play a significant role in product video, as consumers demand convenient ways to experience, explore, and enhance shopping across channels.   

As the Web transforms into a video medium, consumers are naturally coming to expect video not as an add-on or a destination, but as an integral part of their online experiences, including shopping experiences. Understanding how consumers interact with, and consume, video allows a competitive advantage by deploying video that generates a substantial and measureable return on investment, concludes the report.

For more details from this Whitepaper, and access to the complete PDF file, please visit here.



3 comments about "Product Videos Online Boost Purchase Confidence".
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  1. Melissa Chyba from Archer Mobile, March 27, 2013 at 10:30 a.m.

    This is a compelling article on the use of video for marketing and business operations. An argument can be made that it would be beneficial for videos to be more accessible quickly when engaging with smartphones. For example, using an MMS video can be a good strategy as there it does not require to click a link, the video is on device and can be replayed without using data.

  2. Serena Ehrlich from Business Wire, March 27, 2013 at 1:31 p.m.

    Jack, this is a fantastic summary of the survey. Thank you so much!

  3. Russ Somers from Invodo, March 28, 2013 at 3:33 p.m.

    Melissa, I like your thought on accessibility - make it as easy as possible for the user! Jack, let me echo Serena in thanking you for a great summary.

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