man filming another man who is standing on stairs
PHOTO: Steven Van

Times are still good for the ecommerce world despite hiccups in the overall world economy. This is largely due to more and more shoppers shifting towards digital commerce as a way to explore, research and ultimately purchase items. In fact, online sales are predicted to grow around 15% year-over-year for the 2019 holiday season.

To keep this holiday season momentum rolling into 2020 and beyond, the need for multi-channel engagement remains critical. Customers use an average of three channels to engage with brands, and retailers must ensure that each of these touchpoints are consistent and seamless throughout the entire shopping journey. To cater to customers’ digital preferences, brands are looking to video as an increasingly popular brand distribution vehicle across online channels. Videos provide a deeper emotion-based mechanism that images can’t replicate, while also giving brands a more detailed view on valuable data like clicks and time spent. 

Although video in ecommerce is not new, the emergence of new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) are changing the game. These new capabilities enable brands to distribute high-quality video even more broadly, and critically, help them recoup the traditionally high upfront video production costs significantly faster. Let’s take a deeper look into these time- and cost-saving advantages to explain how brands can successfully utilize video in today’s hyper visual, digital-driven world.

Create a Single Source of Video Truth

One of the major challenges of using video is the inherently complex nature of managing assets across the business, for developers and marketers alike. This requires creating a workflow that can deliver these assets effortlessly between teams and across screens and platforms. The good news is the continued growth of digital asset management (DAM) as a central part of a company’s marketing technology (martech) stack automates the editing and delivery of video formats to every channel. No longer needing to create several versions of each video drastically improves efficiency and ensures a consistent content experience.

Additionally, it’s now easier than ever to maintain a single source of truth within an organization by relying on a centralized asset library. This unified content hub makes it easy to browse, tag, search for, share and distribute assets. The result is a faster time to market, which is especially critical in a fast-moving, ultra-competitive ecommerce universe.

Related Article: The Uncomfortable Truth About DAM

Increase Video Engagement Opportunities

Video storytelling stands out as an unusually effective way to connect with potential customers and create lively content that captures people’s attention. So, what’s especially great about the growth of AI and deep learning is that it allows brands to create richer video engagement opportunities.

For example, brands can now create relevant content-based video crops that automatically detect the primary subject in a video. AI helps automatically generate short video previews at scale to capture each viewer’s attention and enhance videos for mobile viewing. They can also receive support for managing user-generated videos as a key part of brand storytelling. The possibilities for personalized, channel-specific adjustments to an original video file are endless, making it an exciting time to tap into the power of video without over-investing time or financial resources.

Related Article: The 3 Magic C's of Online Customer Experience

Avoid Being Left Behind

There are undeniable competitive gaps that will open up between the companies that understand the power of video storytelling and those that don't. By waiting, brands will allow competitors to attract the attention of consumers with compelling videos, eroding their own engagement and weakening revenue. Simply, those who don’t utilize available technology to generate dynamic videos and the associated engagement lift risk being left behind.

The sooner brands learn how to engage, the more time they will have to make tweaks and adjustments, and the better results their video initiatives will deliver. It’s also critical that brands create a clear video strategy in order to fully optimize engagement with the audience they care most about.

Video is the new norm for visual storytelling, and it’s up to brands to make use of this powerful tool to maximize engagement. All it takes is a better understanding of the modern consumer, the willingness to create the best possible customer experiences and the technology to minimize management complexities, reduce cost and speed delivery.