Picture Perfect


To make better-informed purchasing decisions, shoppers can watch and learn through product videos.

As the proliferation of online video continues to grow, more online shoppers will expect richer and extra-dynamic media to extend into the shopping category. And as more streamlined and hassle-free video solutions give companies the opportunity to better showcase their products on Web sites, retailers won’t be able to ignore this option—especially when it is available for virtually no cost and very little effort.

Ritz Interactive, Irvine, Calif., and Calumet Photographic, Chicago, are two multichannel retailers already convinced by the power of video. Both have set up online product video tours through the Active Product Tours solution from San Ramon, Calif.-based SellPoint.

The product tours are tied to the site so that shoppers are able to view detailed presentations featuring audio, video and printable sales collateral.

Ritz Interactive was so interested in the solution that it began experimenting with options in early 2004.

The company wanted to offer the same level of knowledgeable service and advice to its shoppers as they would at a bricks-and-mortar location, according to Andre Brysha, senior VP and chief marketing officer of Ritz.

Prior to working with SellPoint, Ritz Interactive tried to make its site as educational as possible. This involved contacting each manufacturer for updated content that it could add to its product pages.

By working with SellPoint, however, Ritz has handed off production of the product tours to the vendor. More specifically, downloadable sales collateral is compiled and hosted by vendor. Sellpoint also supplies updated material to Ritz’s tours as it becomes available.

Shoppers can access Active Product Tours from various product pages just by clicking the “Interactive Tour” button. This launches a separate pop-up window. Shoppers can choose to launch the tours when they want to gain deeper insight.

“The solution’s rich product information gives consumers a level of confidence similar to what they would have in a retail location. This is because they are armed with all the information they need to make an informed purchase decision,” Brysha said.

Currently, Ritz Interactive is playing more than 200 Active Product Tours, which encompass everything from cameras to GPS devices.

”Since implementing SellPoint, we have seen our online customers spend more time on our product pages, visit more related accessory pages and ultimately improve their shopping experience,” Brysha said. “We have also seen an increase in conversion rates and a decrease in returns.”

“It is likely that an online shopper will choose to watch a video about a product, given the option. A more informed buyer is a better buyer,” Brysha added.

Calumet Photographic, which has 10 stores in the United States and 19 in Europe, has been running Active Product Tours for several products on its site since mid-2007. Since its customers are photographers, it was important for the company to make the site as visual as possible, said Joe Henson, chief technology officer of Calumet.

“We wanted our customers to virtually touch and feel the cameras and electronics,” Henson said. The “wow” factor was important.

Similar to Ritz, the video feature has “increased product views and the tours have generated additional sales,” he said.

Moving forward, Henson said that Calumet is looking to embrace new features and functionality.

Calumet Photographic aims to explore “everything from virtual warehousing to social networking,” Henson added.

Login or Register to post a comment.