Lights, camera, conversion: How some retailers use videos to entice shoppers to buy

When a shopper lands on, the retailer only has a few seconds to grab their attention, says Michael Newsome, senior director, category experience and brand advocate at The Home Depot Inc. 

“If they don’t see what they want, or something doesn’t engage them, they’re going to move on to the next thing,” Newsome says.  

Shoppers want a quick and easy shopping experience, and they want to feel confident in what they are purchasing. Videos are one content medium that Home Depot and other retailers have found engages shoppers and provides them information about products.     

Video content and length varies depending on the product and category. Shopping for clothing is different compared with shopping for power tools. But one thing is certain: every second counts. 

The rise of ecommerce comes at the expense of the experience shoppers might get in store, says Audrey Chee-Read, principal analyst at consulting firm Forrester Research Inc. 

“They can’t touch, feel or smell the products,” Chee-Read says. “Videos are a way for brands to feature that sensorial experience – absent of the product.”  

It’s up to retailers to be creative about how they capture and retain shoppers’ interest. Home Depot offers multiple videos for a single product to satisfy the needs of its professional versus do-it-yourself customers. Meanwhile, women’s apparel retailer Evereve updates its website with staff-made videos showing different styling tips and fits each week.  

Videos on retailers’ websites are nothing new. In fact, in the Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000, a whopping 87% of retailers have video somewhere on their site. But the strategy behind them continues to change to meet evolving consumer expectations. Data suggests retailers could stand to invest a bit more in this area. Only 16% of online shoppers said retailer videos met or exceeded their expectations when shopping online, according to a customer experience survey by Digital Commerce 360 and Bizrate Insights of 999 online shoppers in October 2023. And only 23% of consumers said they consider product videos and video demonstrations/tutorials (20%) to be important features for a well-designed and functional online shopping experience. 

Retailers vie for waning consumer attention spans 

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