Videos may not play the leading role when it comes to marketing for online retailers, but many say the medium is a strong supporting actor.  

While in the past most retailers have mainly used videos to spice up a homepage or to showcase a product on the product detail page, merchants are now using video in more creative ways, including for customer service, advertising, and even down to selling through them with the recent surge in livestream video shopping. Merchants that are tapping into technology and thinking creatively are finding that videos can yield impressive results.  

420 merchants (42%) of merchants in the 2021 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000 incorporate videos in least in one location on their ecommerce site, which is a slight uptick from the 411 merchants (41.1%) that did so in 2019. When looking at just the Top 100 merchants, a larger share offer video, with 62% of Top 100 merchants playing video on their ecommerce sites, according to Digital Commerce 360 site visits in October 2020. Plus, 52% of Top 100 merchants specifically have a how-to video on their website, such as how to use the product, how to set up a product or how to measure themselves to determine what size to order, according to the October 2020 site visits.  

Looking at the entire Top 1000 by merchant type, consumer brand manufacturers are the most likely to offer video on their ecommerce sites, with 50.6% of merchants using it. By product category, consumer electronics retailers were most likely to offer video, with 57.6% of them having it, followed by hardware/home improvement merchants at 56.1%.  

The 420 Top 1000 merchants with video posted an average order value of $160 in 2020 –16% higher than merchants without video, whose AOV came in at $138. Conversion is also slightly higher for merchants with video, at 3.0% compared with 2.8% for those without video, according to Digital Commerce 360. 

In the story below, merchants share how they are using video as a sales channel via livestream shopping, and why they think the channel is resonating with consumers. Later, two online-only merchants share how video was a foundational element of their business. Entrepreneur Lisa Jauregui discusses how she now generates millions annually from what was once a YouTube channel offering makeup tutorials, and skateboard business owner Bryan Tracey explains how he relied on influencer videos to connect with his niche demographic and jumpstart sales.
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