Sees the Light on Outsourced Video

Jan 13, 2011 10:32 PM  By

Golf equipment and apparel retailer Golfsmith knew it needed to keep up with the times and include videos on its ecommerce site, But the merchant’s specialty is selling golf apparel, not video production.

So Golfsmith hired Invodo, online video production company, to do the job for them.

Invodo creates the video content, the proprietary technology, streams the video coding to the retailers and syndicates it to other points of distribution like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

The merchant inputs a code on the product page, and if Invodo creates a video for that product, the video will appear on the product page.

Golfsmith online general manager Eric Mahlstadt would not specify what video has done for its bottom line, but he said the merchant has seen higher conversion rates on pages that include the Invodo-produced videos than pages without them.

Invodo creates separate videos for the other channels, and those create links to the product page URLs. Though Mahlstadt said they include a hyperlink to the product page within the video description fields, he’s noticed a significant number of viewers that will type the URL directly into its browser.

Speaking at the National Retail Federation’s Annual Convention, Invodo CEO Craig Wax said his company clients have seen conversion rates for products with video jump as much as 35%.

What’s more, Wax claimed return rates drop as a result of videos, but Mahlstadt said he hasn’t dug that deep into his metrics to determine that.

“But when customers contact us, they tell us they noticed the video,” Mahlstadt said. “We know that it’s closing the sale so it’s providing an additional level of product information that can’t otherwise be communicated.”

But video does not automatically mean successful conversions, Wax said. A common mistake merchants make is with choosing on-camera talent. They may find someone who is a good actor, but if they don’t know the product, the video is not going to help with the selling process.

“The person has to be knowledgeable and credible,” Wax said. “If you can find someone in the company that is comfortable in front of the camera and has those attributes, that’s the ideal circumstance. In most instances, you see people who aren’t both comfortable and knowledgeable.”

Mahlstadt said Golfsmith’s is fortunate enough to have found a product pitchman in its Austin store.

“We’re using a store associate in the videos because he has a vast amount of product knowledge,” Mahlstadt said. “People go into the store and recognize him from the videos, so we absolutely know there’s a connection there.”