How Videos Can Make a Powerful Impact On Your Online Conversions

by George Mathew

Last updated on April 26th, 2018

What internet retailer wouldn’t want to increase their average order value?

A survey of online retailers (Best Buy, Newegg, and Under Armour – to name a few), found an increase in average order value (AOV) when they implemented product videos.

Retailers that had videos on all of their product pages had close to 9% conversion rates. 9% might not sound like a high number at first – but think about it for a moment: For every 100 visitors to that page, 9 of them made a purchase.

That’s not too shabby.

It’s also reported that customers who watched more videos ended up spending more.

VIDEOS improve conversions

Is video a core part of your marketing strategy? If not, then why not? Here are more reasons to start using videos immediately.

Finding The Right Video Length Can Do Wonders

John Cecil, author of Online Video Revolution conducted a lot of research on the ideal length of online videos.

His research shows that 33 percent of video viewers bail out in the first 12 seconds of the video. And one-minute may be way too long.

John says that the first 10 seconds of a video are the most critical. If you lose the attention of the viewers here there’s no way you are going to get it back.

As to the type of video, a “borderless” spokesperson (where the video isn’t enclosed in a box and the video background is transparent) converts the best for him. But ideally you should test out different types of videos and find out that which works the best for you.

However, Ryplle, a social performance management tool, found that its engaging 2-minute explainer video performed 34% better than the average 2-minute video. So don’t forget that video quality is generally more important that duration – don’t get too hung up on video length.


This infographic from Kissmetrics shows how important video duration is for engagement.

What About Autoplay?

Autoplay seems to be getting more and more attention with a large number of websites implementing it.

But is it really effective?

Autoplay appears as a very disruptive technique to me. Consider the following scenarios.

Let’s say you are bidding on “standing desk setup guide” on Adwords.

An autoplay video that shows the visitor exactly how to do that may work really well in this case. The reason being is that the traffic is extremely targeted and is looking for solutions.

But in other cases autoplay may not be the best idea.

For example, a person searching for standing desks might have many tabs open at the same time looking at different reviews on standing desks.

A video that starts playing out of the blue will not only be distracting; the visitor may just go and close the tab instead of muting the video. What a great way to kill your conversions.

Facebook has opted for silent autoplay which means that the video will play but the sound will turn on only if you do that manually. That’s one option you could go for, as what does on their homepage.

sound in the mute

On’s homepage, the autoplay video in the background is muted – keeping the experience distraction free.

Here’s What You Can Do Instead of Using Autoplay

Peep Laja was able to double the number of video plays on Traindom’s site simply by changing the thumbnail.

The image shows how the thumbnail used to look like. This video converted at 10% in generating video views.

traindom original

The new thumbnail had the text, ‘Watch this video because it’s only 2:18 long’. This new thumbnail resulted in doubling the views. Twice the number of people watched it now compared to the earlier version.

change thumbnail increase conversion

But back to autoplay.

“First impressions” are made within 1/10th of a second. You don’t want to lose a potential customer within that small space of time. Research also reveals that 99% of websites are susceptible to negative aging.

people are impatient

Basically, people who watch longer, stay around longer and receive more value from your video’s information. And, they stick around your site longer. With the possibility of autoplay annoying your visitors, it’s definitely worth testing whether or not the feature helps or hurts conversions.

And Just Maybe…You Should Make Your Videos Entertaining

Checkout VAT19. They are an online retailer in the gifting niche. Every product page has educational videos that present their products in…we’ll let’s just stay an interesting way.

vat19 example

VAT19 places videos on each product page. And they’re hilarious!

And educational!

BlendTec’s “Will it Blend” series where they show crazy stunts like trying to blend an iPhone captured a lot of attention worldwide.

This instantly catapulted their position as the number 1 blending machine.

With a $50 budget, George ( the new marketing director at the time) bought a Happy Meal, a rotisserie chicken, Coke cans, golf balls, and a few other items, and they made five videos. Six days later, they had six million views on YouTube. Six years, 120-plus videos, almost 200 million views later, ‘Will it Blend?’ has been named as the number one viral marketing campaign of all time.

How Can Videos Improve Your Online Business If You’re Not A Retailer?

Getting feedback is one of the best things you can do to improve videos.

Follow the example set by Groove.

Using Kissmetrics, the GrooveHq team identified their most engaged customers. They picked up the phone and started asking them questions like:

  • What problems were you hoping Groove would solve when you signed up?
  • What has your experience been like so far?
  • What was getting started with Groove like?
  • What was your aha moment — the moment you knew you loved Groove?

After collating this feedback, they designed a landing page with one large frame explainer video that addressed all these concerns.

groove comparison

The new landing page along with the video converted at 4.3%. For a SaaS business, that’s a win you’ll take any day.

Are You Ready to Pump Out Some Videos?

There’s no doubt to the fact that videos can increase your online retail conversions.

But the real issue is how are you going to do it? It’s hard. It’s time-consuming. If you’re a retailer, there are SO MANY videos to make. Well, let’s just leave you with this last thought:

In an industrial setting, the obvious plan is to seek out the easy work. You’re more likely to get it done with less effort and then move on. The easy customer, the easy gig, the easy assembly line.

Today, though, it’s the difficult work that’s worth doing. It’s worth doing because difficult work allows you to stand out, create value and become the one worth choosing. – Seth Godin

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George Mathew

George has marketed million dollar startups with his skills and has contributed to ace Conversion Optimization blogs like ConversionXL. You can hire him for your content marketing needs.


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