Convenience and practicality are perhaps the two prime reasons for the increasing popularity of online shopping. However, it does keep you from experiencing the physical proximity that traditional brick-and-mortar shopping offers. You have to admit that the tempting product displays and the smell of novelty inside physical stores are missed. Fortunately things are changing for online retailers. In fact, visual commerce has put such issues away, making it critical to online stores and brands. Video in Visual Content Visual content is popular for several reasons. For example, people are more likely to remember things that they see or do than things they hear or read. This is why content with images look more compelling to us. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is perhaps worth a million. Don’t believe us? Consider the following stats: The number of videos published from January 2014 to January 2015 showed an increased by 94 percent in U.S., while there was an impressive 75 percent annual growth rate among international users during the same period. Studies indicate that 74 percent of the web traffic will be video by 2017. People who view demo videos are 1.81x more likely to make the purchase compared to non-viewers. According to a Cisco report, global traffic from online videos will represent over 80 percent of all Internet traffic by 2020. A Content Marketing Institute report also indicates that 34 percent of B2C business that pre-produced video will be essential for 2017 content marketing success. There are numerous indicators that point towards how video is essential for a successful visual content strategy. Video is not only blurring the lines between browsing and shopping, it can even help eCommerce businesses tap new opportunities and customers, and in turn, improve their bottom line. But how to do that remains a critical question for many. The following 3 tips should help you use videos as part of your visual commerce strategy. #1. Tell a Story with Videos We all love a good story. Since childhood, stories have helped us develop, learn about things around us, and they have inspired and entertained us. Therefore, we are naturally programmed to seek out stories every day. And this is why we find storytelling a compelling way to connect with a brand. As a marketer, you need to understand the real value of your brand’s story. According to Small Business Trends, your brand’s “story is a complete picture of the facts, feelings and interpretations, which are shared about your business by you, your customers, your community and the public in general.” Take the example of “eBay Thanks You” videos, where the eCommerce giant shows its customers to tell its story. With each video, eBay gave us different scenarios and buyers’ perspectives as to why people use this platform. Source The LEGO Story is another example of how a brand should use videos to tell its stories. In this short animated video, LEGO takes you through its history, making it both entertaining and informative. It has received over 12 million views on YouTube, which proves just how enthralling the LEGO story is. #2. Tackle Uncertainties with Videos Videos are commonly used to showcase what a product can do. This works well and you must use them to show how your product works in different settings, how to assemble it, and so on. But it’s time to take this practice further. Start using videos to tackle the uncertainties that are commonly associated with online shopping. Whether we accept it or not, online shopping does come with a certain amount of risk. For instance, a couple of years ago, I purchased a lovely red dress to gift my friend. But when it arrived, it looked nothing like the product I ordered. The material looked cheap and the color (which was so vibrant in the product catalog) was dull. Perhaps, many of you may have had similar experiences. We always wonder – will the item look as stunning as it is advertised? Is it as easy-to-use as promised? This uncertainty often results in cart abandonment. Videos can help you deal with such customer uncertainties. They help you tackle such questions and also reassure buyers about their purchase decisions. Studies indicate that 64 percent of shoppers are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video. Consider answering the FAQs and other common follow-up questions about your product through a video. If possible, add a short video review to give shoppers proof of your product’s quality. Unboxing videos, for example, are very effective for such purposes, as they give a visual proof of what your product will look like upon delivery. #3. Leverage User-Generated Content Perhaps, you may have already noticed that eBay showed its own customers in its thank-you videos. This can serve a helpful purpose. Allowing your customers to play a role in the video you publish on social media is one of the best ways to enhance customer experience with visual content. The same goes for unboxing videos and video reviews. Source User generated content (UGC) is popular because it’s trustworthy. According to a report published by Bright Local, “84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation”. In addition, 70 percent of buyers give more importance to reviews by other customers than professionally written marketing content. In fact, millennials, who account for a significant percent of US consumers, trust information gathered from UGC more than that disseminated by mainstream media sources. Animoto Online and Social Video Marketing Study also found that 4 in 5 millennials refer to video content while researching for a product/purchase decision and when shopping online, 70 percent of millennials are more likely to watch a company video, giving you even more reasons to invest in videos. And according to the latest eCommerce trends, it is essential for eCommerce businesses to adapt to the need of the millennials, if they don’t want to lose a significant amount of business You can gather videos shared by your customers on their social media networks. In addition, you can encourage your customers to share a product review video and/or an unboxing video. Don’t worry about the quality of these videos as their authenticity is the most important factor here. Conclusion Going by the latest trends, it can be said that less is more. The ideal eCommerce website today has fewer words and more visuals, both in forms of images and videos. Text-heavy sites are generally rich in information, but they provide poor user experience. It is, therefore, essential to strike a balance between the customers’ need for information and desire for a rich experience. Visual content, therefore, comes as the ideal answer. But, if you are only focusing on images, you’re missing the bigger picture. Videos can help you engage in a better and meaningful way with your customers.