Adding Eyeballs with Video

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Sports Unlimited, a 30-year-old family sporting goods business based in Hatfield, Pa., was eager to add online videos to its e-commerce site, but faced the daunting task of creating videos for thousands of products.

"We cover…football, baseball, basketball, lacrosse, field hockey, plus others, and we stock about 15,000 SKUs. We want to provide our customers with as much information as possible, but there was no feasible way for us to shoot videos of all our products," says Michael Neff, director of e-commerce at Sports Unlimited.

Neff found the answer in Treepodia, a video platform provider that specializes in e-commerce videos. Neff was intrigued by the company's ability to quickly produce videos for numerous products through a customized template.

He was also interested in the SEO benefits of adding videos to a Web site. Like many companies, Sports Unlimited was affected by the changes Google made to its search algorithm last summer and lost some traffic. The company's goals for its videos, Neff says, were to increase conversion rates and get added exposure on search engines.

Sports Unlimited began working with Treepodia in May 2011, starting with videos for its 3,500 top-selling products.

Neff sent Treepodia digital images of the merchandise and product information. Within 48 hours, the agency delivered videos that were 20 to 30 seconds long and featured close-ups of the sports equipment with the manufacturer's name and phrases like "Get it now" and "Price match guarantee."

Each video was placed on a product page. Customers could access the video by clicking on a "video" button next to the merchandise. Within 30 days, Sports Unlimited saw a 5 percent increase in the conversion rate of items with videos.

Part of the videos' appeal, Neff says, is that instead of "just looking at a static image, this makes the experience a little more interactive, and it encourages customers to stay on the page longer. The longer [they're] on the page, the more likely they are to make a purchase."

By February 2012, Sports Unlimited decided to up the ante with new videos of 20,000 products. Treepodia added a musical intro and outro as well as Sports Unlimited's logo. Neff had the agency include more information, such as price, the number of stars a reviewed item received, and free shipping details.

The second batch of videos produced a 5.8 percent conversion lift—an improvement over the first, Neff points out. Neff was pleased to see Sports Unlimited once again near the top of Google searches for various sports merchandise, which he attributed to the videos.

Satisfied with Treepodia's work, Neff decided it was time for Sports Unlimited to add its own in-house videos. At the time this article was written, using Treepodia's intro and outro, Sports Unlimited had produced 120 videos, featuring a spokesperson highlighting technical information. Conversion rates rose again, yielding an 8.1 percent increase.

Since adding the videos, Sports Unlimited's page views have increased by 12.5 percent and the time spent on a Web page per visit has increased by 8 percent.

"What's great is the system runs on its own," Neff notes. "If we decide to shoot ten custom videos, we can. It makes things easier to know that if we need to improve [them], Treepodia can help us."

The Payoff

Since working with Treepodia, Sports Unlimited has:

  • seen a 5 percent to 5.8 percent conversion rate increase in its early use of online videos;
  • followed that with an 8.1 percent increase upon adding videos produced in-house;
  • increased its page views by 12.5 percent; and
  • watched the time spent on a Web page per visit increase by 8 percent.

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