Marketing Moving images in online retail
Nowadays, online shops are for the most part interchangeable, and the pressure on margins is enormous. Videos that tell a story can be a tool to generate emotional customer loyalty and a means to set yourself apart from the competition.
Over the past few years, countless new online shops and marketplaces have opened up. The fact of the matter is, however, that the majority of online shops are more or less interchangeable. Additional services such as free delivery or payment by invoice are simply not enough anymore to set a company apart from the competition. Nearly all retail companies claim best price leadership, and try to score points using this argument. This leads to razor-thin margins and cost pressure.
One possible way companies can stand out from the competition is to make videos that have a positive effect on typical e-commerce KPIs such as traffic, conversion rate, lead generation and retention. On average, Internet users spend 4.5 minutes longer on websites with video content compared to websites with just images and text (Jörg Battis, 2018).
People who package products and services in an interesting video story and tell it in an authentic and exciting way win the favour of viewers. A connection is mainly established when the viewer identifies with the protagonist or the narrator. The audience is indirectly involved in the experiences shown in the video.
A pioneering example of this is the online shop created by Bea Loosli from Lady planet GmbH. She comes across as authentic and professional in her videos where she talks about alternative menstrual products and contraceptives. Visitors to the website are addressed directly by Bea Loosli, and actively engaged with. The online shop is integrated into the website itself, and you can buy products that relate to what Bea Loosli talks about in her videos. From a visual point of view, the website is designed to be inviting and attractive. The engaging nature of the website leads to a cognitive, emotional transfer to the people browsing it, which is bound to increase the likelihood of customers actually placing an order in her online shop.
Tchibo is breaking new ground with live streaming
Sales generated by Chinese online retailers through live streaming have doubled since 2020, and platforms ranging from WeChat to TikTok are stepping up their game. Even here in Switzerland, companies are seriously looking at this new sales method that uses live streaming.
The German company Tchibo, based in Hamburg, is also following suit. Tchibo has its own stores, and also has dedicated stands with its products in supermarkets. Tchibo is one of the 20 biggest online shops in Germany, and has been very experimental over the past few years in online retail. And we’re not just talking about the close relationship between branch stores and the online world and apps. New live broadcasts are also well worth mentioning.
These are used to showcase new products, and are filmed in 9:16 high definition on smartphones, as many customers also browse the Tchibo online shop on their smartphones. The company’s website promotes videos on topics such as “Exercising outdoors”, “Hello summer” and “Let’s get out into nature”. The videos are presented by eloquent, likeable sellers with a sense of humour.
The products on sale are skilfully incorporated into the videos and effectively advertised. The actors in front of the camera convey authentic experiences that are directly related to the products on offer. Their emotional stories, which are told with a great deal of wit and humour, actually make for a very entertaining watch.
People watching the videos associate the stories told with their own similar experiences. This in turn leads to a positive association with the Tchibo brand. Ultimately, it’s a way to boost turnover in online shops, and to prompt more impulse purchases when customers find themselves in a Tchibo store or at a stand selling Tchibo products in a supermarket.
The Chinese shopping boom in live streaming is heading our way too. Self-produced smartphone videos for the online shop come across as a lot more authentic and credible than video messages that are manufactured externally. People and their own personal stories are what make the difference.
- Mossner Christian, Forster Liliane, Mannes Johann (2017) “Video-Storytelling”, VDF-Verlag an der ETH, ZürichTarget not accessible
- Pattiss, Jörg (2018) “Praxisratgeber Video-Marketing”, Springer-Gabler Verlag, GermanyTarget not accessible
Due to the current situation, Connecta Bern will again be held as a digital event in 2021. Connecta is renowned for shining a light on the diverse nature of digitization and this year will be no different with content presented across the three formats of Connecta Blog, Connecta TV and Connecta Talk. Find out more here: www.swisspost.ch/connecta.