Have you ever been into an Apple store? At first, it’s a little unnerving that such beautiful, expensive products are right there in front of you. You’re encouraged to run your fingers across them, pick them up feel it in the palm of your hand. Why would they let you get your grubby hands on products you probably can’t afford and probably won’t buy?
The approach Apple take is deliberate. They appreciate the importance of touch in shaping consumer behavior.
As soon as you touch it, you create a connection with the product. You imagine what it would be like to own it. How would others perceive you? How would it change the way you perceive yourself?
The world’s leading copywriters use exactly the same technique to sell products through direct mail. They use language to conjure the sensual aspects of the products. As you trickle down their copy, you feel what it’s like to hold it, to own it.
So, what does all this have to do with video and the product pages of an ecommerce website?
Most people’s experience of the average product page on an ecommerce site is, to say the least, underwhelming. Lousy photos - or worse: ‘photo’ (singular); product descriptions they’ve copied straight from the manufacturers site (the exact same descriptions you’ll find on every other ecommerce site selling the same product); bullet-pointed technical jargon that means little-to-nothing to the potential customer.
It’s a shame. When you’ve got them to the product page they’re clearly interested in the product.
If they were in store, you’d want them picking up the product, feeling its weight in their pocket, taking it for a test drive. You’d be a bit more confident you could close it. Imagine if your salesman simply recited product specs without relating them to the customers needs? Or wouldn’t let customers get as close as they can to the product without actually owning it?
They probably wouldn’t last very long.
Ecommerce will never be able to completely replicate the sensation of shopping in-store. This doesn’t, however, mean you can’t acknowledge and pander to your customers’ sensual needs.
Video offers a different way of engaging visitors on a website. You can show visitors why, as opposed to telling them.
To develop video (or indeed better image and written content) on product pages you need someone who:
Knows each of your products inside out for example. What are their specific, unique features? How is it positioned in relation to other products in the market? Explain jargon and give the customer justification for their purchase
Understands the motivations of your customers. What’s driving them to consider this purchase? What questions would they ask the salesman if the conversation took place in-store? What objections could they make? How can these be countered? How can they justify the purchase?
If you can break down these two areas for each product (or even groups of products). You can then bridge the two and use the information as the foundation for your content.
The reason why you might chose video? It’s an opportunity to speak directly to the visitor and show them exactly what they’ll be buying and why they should buy it. None of this is rocket science. The best marketers have been practicing this years.
It’s an opportunity to separate yourself from ecommerce stores selling the same products.
Creative Commons image via Camillo Miller on Flickr