This article originally appeared in the April 2012 issue of Customer Interaction Solutions
The world has gone multimedia, and video is a growing part of that. But this goes much further than just video for entertainment or videoconferencing. As Invodo explains, more companies are now leveraging video to help educate and inform their customers, often increasing customer satisfaction in the process. Customer Interaction Solutions magazine recently interviewed Craig Wax, CEO of Invodo, about the power of video.
How and when did Invodo get its start?
Wax: We launched Invodo in 2007. We built the company on the idea that video marketing is the next step in the evolution of selling on the web. Brand manufacturers and retailers are looking for tools that can help them produce video content at scale, optimize them for search engines, distribute this content to every point of contact where their customers are, and measure how video impacts their customers’ decision-making. Our offerings encompass the full lifecycle of video to help businesses drive their customers’ actions. We offer production services to create customized video content, a comprehensive technology platform that allows for the distribution and management of that content so they can quickly and easily share it with customers via websites and mobile devices, and reporting tools that empower them to learn as much as they can from how their video content performs.
Who are your customers?
Wax: Invodo offers a complete video solution that helps drive business results for retailers and brand manufacturers. Invodo specializes in professionally-produced video content designed to drive conversion rates, reduce returns rates and abandoned shopping carts, and reduce service call volumes. We deliver this content on Invodo’s video platform, which includes the Invodo inPlayer, hosting and streaming, video SEO, and analytics. We also help brands and retailers distribute their videos to social networks. Our clients include many of the top retailers, like Office Depot and Sports Authority, along with leading brand manufacturers like Crocs and Lenovo (News - Alert).
You say that video is being used by more and more brands as part of their digital marketing strategies. By whom and how?
Wax: Recent research by the e-tailing group shows that 69 percent of retailers have at least some video at the product page level. That’s in response to consumer demand as, increasingly, consumers want engaging rich content instead of just text and images. In the 2011 holiday shopping season, we measured the usage of videos across our base of nearly 100 clients, including Crocs, Golfsmith and Office Depot. We found there was an 813 percent increase in year-over-year video views on those retail sites, compared to 2010. Retailers and brands are realizing that video can replicate the in-store buying experience, giving consumers confidence in their decision to purchase a product.
Invodo recently conducted a study that dispels commonly held beliefs about video, such as the idea that consumers won't watch for more than 30 seconds. What were your findings in this realm?
Wax: The 30 second myth was one of the myths we examined in this study. It’s perpetuated by video platforms that assume that all content is of equal quality and that the goal of a video is to be watched to completion. The myth says that, because viewing data shows that consumers have short attention spans and are likely to click away after a brief video view, businesses should only produce very short videos. Our study disproves this way of thinking. What we found is that consumers care less about the length of a video than about whether that video is helpful and useful to them. Thirty-seven percent of respondents said they watch videos longer than three minutes if the content is educational or demonstrates how to use a product. And the important thing is not whether a consumer watches the full video. If a consumer clicks away from the video to make a purchase, that’s a good thing from a business perspective.
You say the survey data show that product videos executed the right way can help deflect incoming calls from customers needing more information or returns. Explain.
Wax: Our survey found that 52 percent of consumers agreed with the statement that they are more confident when they watch a product video online prior to making a purchase, and are less likely to return that product. In addition, two-thirds of consumers surveyed said that seeing a product demonstrated in a video makes it easier for them to understand how a product works, as opposed to reading text or watching pictures. Both of these findings show that video plays a key role in not only influencing a purchase but educating the consumers, making it less likely they will need to call for help in assembling a product, and they will be more sure of their decision to purchase that product in the first place, lessening the likelihood they will want to return it.
What other impact is video having on customer interactions including contact centers?
Wax: Video doesn’t just deflect calls from going into a contact center. It improves your customer service and increases your customers’ satisfaction with your company. It’s not realistic for companies to staff contact centers to the extent that callers don’t experience wait times, and many other problems beyond a company’s control – such as a cell phone dropping the signal during a call – can reflect poorly on a shopper’s experience with that company. By using video, you’re satisfying customers proactively and mitigating the need for them to turn to your contact center, while helping them feel more confident and loyal as they do business with your brand.
What are the survey's other notable findings?
Wax: Our study also dispelled the myth that casually-produced, YouTube (News - Alert)-style videos that are produced in-house are just as effective in selling products as professional videos. We found that 54 percent of respondents preferred watching a product video with high quality video production, including quality lighting and sound. We also found that across all age groups, about 30 percent of consumers have watched at least one product video on their smartphone, which means that optimizing your videos for mobile devices is emerging as a must-have. Overall, the study reinforced that video content is having a truly impactful role on consumer behavior during the shopping process, and it is an area of opportunity that brands should be looking at sooner than they may have previously thought.
How and when was the survey conducted?
Wax: We conducted the survey in partnership with the e-tailing group. The online survey was deployed in November 2011 to 1,039 consumers (50 percent female / 50 percent male) who have watched product videos on retail or brand manufacturer websites.
If there's just one thing we need to know about this survey, what is that one thing?
Wax: Video isn’t just a nice to have feature anymore. It’s having a huge impact on consumers’ purchase decisions and should be front and center in your online strategy. Video can impact your business in multiple ways, whether it be by increasing sales conversion, reducing calls to the contact center and improving customer service, or further extending your brand across retail channels.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi