Marketing, Retail

Locked and uploaded: How to take bricks-and-mortar stores digital with video

Michael Langdon /

video

Levity director Michael Langdon. Source: Supplied.

From humble corner shops through to decadent multimillion-dollar Christmas displays, retailers across the world have traditionally relied on shop windows to showcase their products. It’s the bait that brings customers into a store, where they then engage with a salesperson who closes the deal.

Luckily for retailers, video can now replace all these steps.

Sales are the lifeblood of any retailer, and video connects you to your customer better than any other medium. The beauty of video is it also stimulates our biggest determining factor when making a purchase: emotion. And the emotional push is what drives customers to buy, whether it’s online or in-store.

Below are a few lessons in how video can replicate the in-store experiences customers have in an online environment.

1. Humanise your brand

The obvious detractor (it may be a benefit depending on who you talk to) of online shopping is there is no one to talk to if you need help. Video overviews are the obvious way for retailers to solve that issue and humanise the brand for people shopping from the comfort of their own home.

It is very important to add a human element when expanding digitally. It is, after all, with other humans that we make connections.

The obvious place for this is at the educational stage of your funnel. Have a professional presenter educate your prospects about the benefits of your product.

The reason why you should choose a professional presenter is that they are trained to establish a connection with your viewers. Someone in-house who is awkward on camera may be detrimental to your brand. Making emotional connections is essential for successful e-commerce transactions.

2. Show your product in action

The biggest misconception about e-commerce is that it doesn’t lend itself to the purchase of big-ticket items because people want to look at them first. Our videos have helped sell fridges worth more than $5,000 quite simply because the video breaks down that barrier.

If you have a succinct video showing what your product does, then you’ve provided the same level of service that a shopper would receive if they visited your store. This is applicable for any industry in the e-commerce space — think fridges to clothing, phones to mattresses, food processors to suitcases!

As a matter of fact, one of the most engaging videos on the internet is a video review for an electric blanket. Those levels of engagement — an 84% viewer retention rate — highlight the beauty of providing product education without your customers ever having to leave their couch.

3. Educate

Educating prospects on the purchase they are about to make fosters psychological allegiance to your brand. And good customer service entices shoppers to make purchases.

Investing in a video review for your products is investing in your customer’s shopping experience.

If you educate your prospects well enough on the products they are looking at, then it’s a no-brainer they will choose to buy from the company that made their purchasing journey easy.

Invest in a good script, a good presenter, and voila,  you’ve acquired a perpetual selling machine.

4. Test drive offer

The devil really is in the detail.

Data from the earliest videos we made show customers kept rewinding back to close-ups we had of panels or buttons on white goods. Sometimes, the most innocuous of details (for the production team) ended up being what people were really after.

For these types of shoppers, having a video review with a lot of close-ups of the product is the closest they are going to get to ‘feeling’ and ‘testing’ the product.

Video is one of the easiest ways to bridge the gap between bricks-and-mortar stores and e-commerce shops.

Whether it’s a social media video to attract customers into your store (similar to a decadent shop window) or a video review to educate your customers about your product (like a sales assistant would), video should be an invaluable part of your sales and marketing funnel.

And with the explosion of video accessibility on both mobiles and desktop, it’s a sure-way strategy to harness all the strengths of a bricks-and-mortar store and apply it to your e-commerce venture!

NOW READ: Plug it in, try it on: How product-review videos can boost e-commerce sales

NOW READ: How this pre-launch video content startup scored a $2 million valuation

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Michael Langdon

Michael is the director at Levity, an e-commerce video expert, award-winning video producer and author of Welcome to the Age of Emotion.