• January 26, 2010
  • By Jessica Tsai, Assistant Editor, CRM magazine

Cook, Clean, Watch, Buy

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Rarely do domestic appliances become film stars, but they do at Electric Shopping—a process that can cost a fortune in time and money. “We had to design the shoot, script it, get all the people ready,” recalls Rob Levy, chief executive officer of Electric Shopping. “It was a lot of work to create just one video.” This went on for six months, but in an industry with tight margins, video became a luxury the United Kingdom–based company could no longer afford. Even so, video had a sales quality that brought the flat, manufacturer-produced images to life, Levy says, which drove the company to search for a more cost-effective solution. 

The company found one from video platform provider Treepodia. Now, Electric Shopping merely has to approve the videos created by Treepodia and paste a few lines of code into the product pages. No one person is responsible for managing the videos, either. The task of sending information to Treepodia is so simple, it’s allocated to anyone “who has some spare time.” Altogether, he estimates that Electric Shopping invests 10 minutes into the production of each video, and another 20 to 30 minutes happens on the Treepodia side. The final videos are up on the Web site within hours after putting a request in to Treepodia, down from what used to take days. 

Since selecting Treepodia more than a year ago, approximately 15 percent of Electric Shopping’s 2,200 products have one- to two-minute videos that automatically load directly on the product page—all visitors have to do is press “play.” 

For high-ticket items, Electric Shopping invests in videos that are fully produced—from casting to scripting—that are shot in Treepodia’s studio. “They know our business quite well and the type of things that are important to our customers,” Levy says. These high-quality shoots represent approximately 10 percent of the video portfolio, while the remaining videos resemble PowerPoint slideshows, using still images supplied by the manufacturer and text taken from product pages. 

Prior to the Treepodia partnership, only about 1 percent of Electric Shopping’s products had videos. For the price of one of those videos, the online retailer can now afford 50 Treepodia image-based productions. Moreover, videos were hosted on Electric Shopping’s own platform, which required users to open and load a separate window for viewing. “We didn’t have the skills in-house to produce a slick kind of solution like Treepodia’s,” Levy says. He says he can’t even imagine hosting this many videos in-house. “Our job is selling product,” he says, “not distributing videos.” 

By early 2010, Levy expects an accelerated production process to enable all of his product pages to acquire video. “[Treepodia] really increased the speed at which they can pump these videos out,” he says. Electric Shopping is prioritizing new products that need immediate exposure to the market, but top-viewed products with low conversion rates are a concern. If it’s still a low performer, despite rewritten descriptions and adjusted pricing, “we try to get a video out as soon as we can,” he says. 

To compare the impact video has on product conversion, Levy looks at the purchase rate of those who watch the video on the product page and those who don’t. On average, those who do view the video are three times more likely to buy the product. One item in particular—a Cuisinart food processor, complemented by a fully produced video—initially converted 1,000 percent better if the visitor viewed the video. Though that rate has tapered, Levy says the accompanying video still helps the item convert at a high rate.

At least two videos are created for each product, one that boasts a more-urgent “buy” message, and another that’s a bit more calm in its coloring and acoustics. The videos are then pitched against each other automatically to determine which converts visitors at a higher rate, with dynamic testing enabling adjustments to be made accordingly. If both videos are underperforming, the video is flagged and Electric Shopping is notified, after which the company typically sends new images for Treepodia to create something new. 

Videos reside only on Electric Shopping’s Web site and its YouTube channel, with the intent of increasing the company’s presence in the search engines. Levy does anticipate incorporating more video content into the company’s new blog, among other outlets. “The scope for video,” he says, “is massive.”  

The Payoff

After Electric Shopping handed off its video initiatives to Treepodia, the company was able to:

  • reduce time to create videos from days to minutes;
  • eliminate need for staff responsible for creating and managing videos;
  • increase the amount of inventory featuring video content from 1 percent to 15 percent;
  • create 50 image-based videos for the price of one fully produced video;
  • see an average 200 percent increase in conversion rates; and
  • enjoy a 1,000 percent increase in conversions for one of its products. 

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