The first-ever comprehensive study on how consumers embrace video in a retail context, revealing that many of the common perceptions about how video is used in shopping are actually incorrect. Conducted in partnership with an e-tailing group, the research shows consumers care more about the quality and content of the video than the actual length of the clip — a departure from the widely accepted notion that retail-related videos should stick to approximately 30 seconds in length. The results demonstrate consumers expect video as part of their shopping experience, and rely on it when making purchase decisions.
"Up until now, retailers have had to make decisions about video without getting information from the most important stakeholder — their customers," a researcher proposed. "In learning from consumers themselves, it's clear that shoppers are comfortable with video, they watch it when they find it, and it can play a significant role in the buying process. This research delivers powerful insight that will help us create even stronger and more effective video content for our clients."
The survey suggests that a variety of common assumptions about video are off-base, as video is far more critical in aiding purchasing decisions than previously shown:
Myth: 30-seconds is the sweet spot for video; shoppers will abandon videos after a certain time because they have very short attention spans.
What the research shows: Length of videos doesn't matter as much as the quality and type does. People don't abandon a video because it's gone past a certain time; they abandon the video when it's not telling them something that's useful for their decision-making. Videos that educate and demonstrate are given the greatest attention and consumers will watch them multiple times prior to purchasing a product. More than a third of consumers (37%) spend more than three minutes watching product videos that educate or demonstrate. 66 percent of consumers watch videos on information-intensive products two or more times.
Myth: The use of video on websites is a "nice-to-have" feature to help improve the user experience.
What the research shows: Video plays a significant role and is a more important investment than many brands realize, given how much of an impact it has on purchasing decisions. Shoppers want, expect and watch videos to increase their understanding of a product or service they're considering buying, and to feel more confident about their purchase.66 percent of consumers report seeing a product demonstrated in a video makes it much easier for them to understand how it really works. 52 percent of consumers shared that watching a product video before purchasing an item online makes them more confident in their decision and less likely to return that product.
Myth: More casual, "YouTube-style" videos produced in-house can be seen as authentic, and are effective in building credibility and demonstrating products.
What the research shows: Professionally-produced videos with quality lighting and sound matter a lot to shoppers. Consumers appreciate high-quality video production, and professionally generated videos receive greater engagement and are seen as more reliable when making purchase decisions. More than half of consumers (54%) cited a preference for watching more polished, professionally produced videos.While only 30 percent of respondents indicated they were inclined to buy a product as a result of watching user-generated videos from peers, more than 47 percent of consumers called professionally produced videos "more reliable" in helping make purchase decisions.