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Golfsmith aims to drive conversions, improve SEO with mobile video

Specialty retailer Golfsmith International Holdings Inc. is using video to increase sales conversions and improve search engine optimization on its wired and mobile platforms.

Golfsmith tapped ecommerce video specialist Invodo to power the content production, technology platform and delivery network for its multiplatform video content. The retailer launched video because it wanted to improve the customer experience on all versions of its site.

“Our goal at Golfsmith is simple: to help people play better golf,” said Eric Mahlstadt, senior online store manager at Golfsmith, Austin, TX. “In the stores, that means being there to give them information and guidance.

“Online, it means being able to help them experience the product so they can understand how it will help improve their game,” he said. “And on mobile platforms, it means putting that information at their fingertips, whether they’re out and about, on their couch, or in the store aisle.

“Our target demographic is anyone who plays golf—our customers are men, women and children of all ages.”

Golfsmith is a retailer of golf and tennis equipment.

Mobile video enhances other channels
Mr. Mahlstadt said that video has exceeded Golfsmith’s expectations in driving conversion and SEO. It also has broad potential in social, mobile and in-store.

Golfsmith aims to produce product video at scale and deliver that content to retail sites and other points of consumer influence such as the mobile Web. 

Golfsmith is featuring video created by Invodo’s production team and implemented via the service provider’s ecommerce video platform.

“The big challenge is to help customers experience the products in a hands-on way through video, even when they are not in our stores,” Mr. Mahlstadt said.

“Invodo addresses the three challenges of producing video at scale: creating the product videos, getting them on the Golfsmith product pages and distributing the videos through social networks,” he said.

The videos are aimed at driving sales and reducing returns by highlighting key features of products and aiding consumers’ buying decision.

Beyond the implementation of the videos on the Web site, Invodo is helping Golfsmith deliver the video content through YouTube and Facebook, as well as via mobile devices.

Invodo partnered with mobile commerce specialist Digby to create a plug-in that provides video content through Digby’s mobile platform for devices such as Apple’s iPad and iPhone and Google’s Android-based smartphones. 

In addition to its mobile Web site, Golfsmith also has an application for Apple’s iPod touch and iPhone (see story).

Invodo claims that its customers have reported a 35 percent average conversion rate increase and improvement in SEO due to the use of its video content and platform.

“Consumers expect a great shopping experience on their phone,” said Craig Wax, CEO of Invodo, Austin, TX. “It’s hard to pack a lot of information into a small screen.

“Video does a better job than anything else at conveying complex information simply within the constraints of a mobile screen,” he said.

Final Take
Dan Butcher, associate editor, Mobile Commerce Daily