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49pc of smartphone owners have watched a product video: study

With 49 percent of smartphone owners and 61 percent of tablet owners having watched a product video on their device in the past three months, there is an opportunity for retailers to add video to their mobile strategy, according to a new report from the e-tailing group and Invodo.

While there has been a lot of talk about the growth in mobile video, not much attention has been paid to video’s potential for impacting consumers’ shopping experiences. The results of the report “Deliver superior shopping experiences via video: consumer insights and retail execution” point to the need for retailers to monitor video viewing on all mobile devices and come up with a mobile video strategy that can help capture sales.

“From a mobile commerce perspective, the biggest take away from this study is that consumers are looking for opportunities to watch product videos on their smartphones and tablets,” said Craig Wax, CEO of Invodo, Austin, TX. “They see video as a useful tool to help them compare products and feel more confident in their purchases.

“The fact that nearly half of consumers aged 25-34 have watched at least one product video on a smartphone over the past three months is a surprising number,” he said.

“Marketers should avoid thinking about mobile product videos as the next frontier, because it is already on their doorstep. There are willing consumers with the devices and bandwidth available who are looking to engage with them through videos.”

Tablet opportunities
Video viewership is strong on retailers’ Web sites but consumers are also interested in viewing video on mobile devices.

Among the 62 percent of respondents with smartphones, 49 percent have watched a product video on their device in the past three months.

Of the 51 percent who have not watched videos on their smartphones, 34 percent are not shopping via the device and 31 percent are unhappy with the small screen experience.

The report found that tablets may offer even greater potential for mobile product videos than smartphones. Among the 35 percent of respondents who own tablets, 61 percent have watched one or more product video on the device in the past three months.

The benefit of product videos is their ability to bring a product to life and arm a consumer with the information needed to make a purchase. In the survey, 54 percent of respondents said that they are most likely to watch a product video if the product is complicated, 52 percent will do so if it is the first-time they are buying a product in a specific category and 45 percent will do so for more expensive purchases.

Purchase confidence
Shoppers are also more confident about their purchase and the brand after they have watched a video, with 52 percent saying they are more confident and less likely to return the product if they have watched a video, 45 percent are willing to stay on a site longer and 44 percent are more engaged with a retailer or brand manufacturer.

Other findings include that 33 percent of respondents have viewed a product video by clicking through an email. Additionally, 47 percent of respondents regularly view products on YouTube and 39 percent do so on Facebook.

Per Invodo, merchants who are looking for ways to connect with consumers on their mobile devices need to think about how you can tie in video.

“What we’re seeing is that many retailers and brands look at new investments in mobile and video strategies as disconnected efforts that they will tackle sometimes at the exclusion of the other,” Mr. Wax said. “But they should be part of a holistic, multichannel strategy.

“Adding video to your mobile strategy is the equivalent of enabling consumers to interact with your best salesperson on their smartphone or tablet,” he said. “Today’s consumers expect experiences on their mobile devices to be every bit as good as online or in-store.

“If you are not leveraging the opportunities mobile video provides – such as through a mobile browser, app or via QR codes at the product display – you may be losing potential sales to other retailers or brands.”