Wright of Way

Thursday, March 09, 2006

How to Use Online Video

A report recently surfaced discussing the age-old question, "does online research affect offline sales?" The eMarketer report proved 2 main points:

1. That 47% of respondents actually made a purchase after doing online research. Okay. Makes sense. I do most of my research at 10pm and most stores are closed when I have questions. So I go online to get initial answers.

2. The merchant site (Circuit City/Best Buy as opposed to Sony or Panasonic) beat out search for the #1 way people get buying information. Okay. Makes sense. I see billboards and signs for these retailers a lot more than specific brands, so I translate that to my online search habits.

So, the answer - of course it does. My question is how can we enhance the traditional online shopping experience - and is rich media marketing the answer? Since everybody is at different stages in the buying process, shouldn't I have access to different levels of information at each stage to push me along the sales and learning continuum?

For example, if I'm looking at buying a gaming console - this is a great place to go at first because it sets the stage and gives me a foundation to build on. Good use of video too.

Rich media marketing should be the first step - like the icing on a cake. And video makes for a great icing. It's short and sweet and sets the stage for deeper exploration. Maybe then I move to a more detailed education with PDFs and price comparisons. But I can't get there until I understand the basics. And those basics need to be explained to me - someone needs to interact with me and ensure that I comprehend.

This is where I think video can be most useful. Excite me. Educate me. Entertain me. Do these 3 things and I'll move along the sales process and hopefully end up in your store - brick or online.

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