The past decade or so has taught us just how crucial user experience (UX) can be for the success of your website and your business. We’ve seen UX-driven companies like Apple beat their competition primarily at the expense of flawless design and superb functionality. As a consequence, it’s not surprising that 86 percent of users claim to have deleted or uninstalled an app because of poor performance.
We’ve seen UX evolve and take many new shapes and forms. Websites are becoming more and more user-friendly with options that were unthinkable 10 years ago, thanks to greater bandwidths and more powerful machines. One of the most important evolving branches of UX is viewer experience (VX).
On the one hand, VX represents a branch of UX that deals with how well your website is optimized for any sort of animated visual experience. On the other hand, it’s gaining a lot of importance lately as it becomes an independent field in its own right with its own rules and practices. It’s vital to say that VX goes beyond just watching videos. When there are different motion graphics merging with your content, such as social media snippets, animated thumbnails and moving images or infographics, all of these can all be considered VX.
That being said, it should be clear that videos are still more important than any of the visual elements listed above. The power of videos is one of the main reasons behind the growing value of VX. Over the course of the last few years, we’ve learned that people love moving images more than any other media.
Some of the following video-related stats are mind boggling. For instance, mobile video consumption grows by 100% every year, according to YouTube. Furthermore, in 2017, video ad spending has exceeded spending on banners thanks to a 46 percent yearly rise. What is really staggering is that watching videos will account for 80 percent of all web traffic by 2021. This is clear proof that VX will become hugely important in the years to come.
The effect this has already had on ecommerce and digital marketing is more than obvious, as more marketers and businesses are using videos as an essential part of their strategies. This is due to the fact that 90 percent of customers use product videos in order to make better buying decisions. In addition, a video on a landing page can help conversions increase by as much as 80 percent. Hence, ecommerce brands that don’t employ videos as an integral part of their online presence will potentially be losing their competitive advantage.
The other main advantage of moving images as a medium is that 80 percent of users are able to recall a video ad they’ve seen in the last month. Unlike written or static content that is normally easily forgotten, brands can improve their visibility by simply changing the medium they use to advertise. Video content is also much more sharable – in fact, 12 times more than text and links combined. The viral potential that videos have means that you can increase your brand’s recognition with just a few great ideas and in a very short amount of time. Needless to say, this can have a significant impact on your sales and revenue in the long run.
There’s a number of things ecommerce businesses need to pay attention to in order to provide the best VX experience for their users. Arguably the most important one is making sure that your website’s performance is fast. Internet users have become pretty impatient in the era we live in, so every time your video fails to play or has trouble loading they will become irritated and probably just leave your site.
Hence you need to ensure that you have the right team to take care of your website design and development, as most of these problems are caused by sloppy designers and programmers. Also, you need to make sure your videos are not too robust and heavy. Even if your hosting is good enough to handle them, your users’ internet connection may not be as quick. HD videos are great, but if you’re not sure they’ll function perfectly, it may be better not to take any chances.
In this day and age, peoples’ attention spans are getting shorter and shorter it’s not going to change any time soon. Moreover, a person scrolling casually and endlessly through social media is not likely to stop and watch a 19-minute product video. Try to be short, concise and to the point.
The voice and language that you should use will naturally depend on your target audience, so this piece of advice doesn’t apply to absolutely everyone. Most brands should address their customers in an easy-going and casual manner, using everyday, conversational language. Sometimes if you are trying to sound too serious in your videos, in order to seem competent or authoritative, it’s probably going to end badly. You’re most likely not going to look professional in the eyes of an average customer, and may come across as dull and boring.
People, in general, watch a lot of video content on the go when surrounded by other people. That’s when it can be sometimes be difficult to hear what is actually being said while a video is playing. This is where adding subtitles to your videos will significantly improve your watch time and audience retention.
It’s important to bear in mind that opening a page on your website doesn’t necessarily imply an intent to watch the video. Playing a video automatically as soon as the page loads will most probably increase your bounce rate and turn people away. Wasting their time, megabytes and battery is something they should choose to do, not you.
Virtual and augmented reality are definitely the future of VX, especially for ecommerce businesses. You can use them to create something that is not only as good as a real shopping experience, but one that’s even better, more efficient, and most importantly, an experience that’s more likely to make the user spend money. Big, renowned brands are already investing a lot in this technology, but smaller businesses may have to wait for prices to come down before they can enjoy these benefits.
At the end of the day, all of the abovementioned tricks won’t help you one bit if your content is sub-par in terms of quality. In general, the quality of your content is perceived as one of the most important UX factors so naturally, this can be applied to VX as well. Obviously, your conversions and your revenue come first, but try not to make all your content sales-oriented. Providing your visitors with quality non-promotional content, like news from your branch or industry-related DIYs and tutorials can be a great starting point for your video content marketing strategy.
Video content, as well as animations and moving images, will become true traffic boosters and sales drivers in the forthcoming period. Not paying enough attention to this fact can have a negative impact for ecommerce brands. The use of videos alone doesn’t guarantee success. Your videos need to be of the highest quality and performing flawlessly, as your competition is most likely going to be doing the same. Ecommerce companies rely predominantly on the quality of their online presence for their branding efforts, and for this reason VX will become an integral part of the branding strategies for ecommerce businesses in the years to come.