Lights, camera, action! Putting video to work in your site search

By Marcus Law

Many retailers have made video a key component in their merchandising strategy, we are seeing more studies about the impact that video is having. These are just a couple of many stories you’ll find with a simple Google search for “video increase conversion.”

Now that many retailers have made video a key component in their merchandising strategy, we are seeing more studies about the impact that video is having. According to a recent study by e-commerce video provider Invodo, 52% of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in their online purchase decisions. For some, video has been found to have a tremendous impact on improving conversion rates. In one study conducted by house wares e-tailer, visitors were 144% more likely to purchase after seeing a product video than those who did not. And these are just a couple of many stories you’ll find with a simple Google search for “video increase conversion.”

Stories like these certainly are great news for those retailers who have made the effort to produce videos and now have a growing library of video content to show their customers. For those who have not made that investment yet, you now have plenty of evidence to make a strong business case for it.

For most retailers, their focus has been on producing quality videos and figuring out how to incorporate these videos into their product landing pages. However, few of them have picked up on a little idea to get even more value from their video. And that idea is to merchandise their video through their site search.

It’s been over two years since Shaun Ryan blogged about “Incorporating video into site search” where he showed an example from that included a tiny “TV” icon next to the caption of products that included video. For many SLI Systems customers, this may have been the spark that got them to think creatively about how to merchandise their videos. As a result, we now have many more examples of the creative ways retailers can incorporate video into their site search results.

The evolution of the example from has been to include a video thumbnail into the search listing that includes video. In the example below from The Diamond Store, you can see a video thumbnail in the top right hand corner of the product image:  

A simpler and elegant way to show that a product contains a video can be seen in this example from Motorcycle Superstore. They have included a field in their data feed to indicate the presence of a video. Then, based on that information, SLI displays a graphic overlay above the product image with blue “Video” flag:  

To make video an integral part of the search experience, some now show videos related to the search results is a separate section on the results page as well as behind a video tab. In the example below from 24 Hour Fitness, this video results section appears below their page results.

An example of showing videos behind a link can be seen below from the seed and plant retailer Thompson and Morgan. These videos which show up in a search for “seeds” are designed to help teach customers how to sow seeds.  

If the thought of incorporating video into your site search results raises concerns about the time and technical resources you will need, you may be surprised to find out how easily it can be done. For retailers who have created a large video library on YouTube, getting this content integrated into site search was as simple as making a call to their SLI Client Services Manager and sharing the link to their YouTube page. SLI is then able to crawl their YouTube page to gather all of the video content and ensure that new videos find their way into the search results automatically.

It’s exciting to see all of the creative ways retailers are now putting video to work in their site search and it will be interesting to see how this evolves in the coming years. With the mass adoption of tablets, whose users have an even greater appetite for video, I’m sure we will begin to see an even greater penetration of video shown in the search results of tablet optimised e-commerce sites.

About the author

Marcus Law is Marketing Manager at EMEA SLI Systems.

Marcus completed a BA in Business Management and Marketing at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand in 2007. He began his career in New Zealand as a Marketing Assistant for SLI Systems in 2008. After travelling the world, Marcus reconnected with SLI in 2011 employed as a Customer Success Manager in the London office. He worked in this role for over a year and in 2012 he was promoted to his current position as SLI System’s UK Marketing Manager. His specialties include E-Marketing, Digital Marketing, Online Marketing Strategy, Planning and Tactics, B2B Marketing, Lead Generation, Product Marketing, Partner Marketing, Copy, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), E-Commerce, Search, Email Marketing, Account Management, Social Media and Event Management.

About the company

SLI Systems provides full-service site search, navigation, merchandising, and user-generated SEO. Our learning-based technology improves the user experience for ecommerce and publishing sites. SLI empowers businesses to enhance customer satisfaction and help site visitors find the products and information they seek quickly and efficiently. 

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