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Entertaining, yet engaging: Connecting with today’s consumer via videos

SNEWS Merchandising Editor Robin Enright looks at how online videos help retailers and brands to get shoppers to stop and linger for awhile.

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Today’s marketing environment is loud, distracting, and nonstop. Auditory and visual stimuli bombards every conscious moment, and whether consumers are aware of it or not, they are constantly making decisions about what they pay attention to.

Those attention spans also are getting shorter, and if the audience is not hooked from the get-go, it is unlikely they will hang around to listen to product specifications or be fascinated by the technical attributes of merchandise.

Retailers and brands face particular challenges as they develop strategies to promote their uniqueness and engage with the consumer with more turning to some form of digital marketing to form these connections.

Online video is a route many are taking to encourage consumers to linger a little longer.

“Retail site visitors who view video stay two minutes longer on average and are 64 percent more likely to purchase than other site visitors,” according to e-commerce analyst Comscore.

Video is information dense thanks to it’s ability to merge sound, music, voice over, and suggest change or action, said Hal Clifford and Jason Houston, of Take One Creative, a brand video, documentary and cause-marketing group in Boulder, Colo. A 30-60 second video with a compelling story is memorable and can be easily shared, they said.

When you consider issues that Clifford describes as time poverty and the fighting for mind share, in makes even more sense for retailers and brands to explore creating or acquiring more video assets for their digital presence.

Barrington Coffee Roasting Co from Take One Creative on Vimeo.

But what type of video is most effective?

Outdoor retail brands and retailers who are challenged with messaging in print have an enormous opportunity to develop a following by creating an experience-driven message that engages rather than bombarding the consumer with technical specs. In fact, the same specs are more likely to be understood when experienced. When messaging has a strong hook, a door is opened that allows the viewer an opportunity to channel the desired emotional response.

Rock Wall Climbing from Take One Creative on Vimeo.

According to Houston, today’s video’s can be produced professionally with less expense than in the past with a good average piece running around $5,000 to $10,000. Like any creative project, price fluctuates according to the details desired. Location, number of people interviewed, music used, etc. all affect final cost.

Retailers can benefit from having local, known staff star in their videos, but if the investment outlined above is too great to start, they should inquire brands about what ready-made video assets may be available to couple with products or categories featured on the website.

Less expensive homegrown videos have their place too and with today’s accessibility of inexpensive equipment, don’t discount the potential for your own customers to toot your brand horn and entertain, educate and engage viewers at the same time.

Just like on the sales foor, use videos to tell your story, remain authentic and engage all the senses of your customers, even they are miles away shopping at home or on their phone.

SNEWS Merchandising Editor Robin Enright
is the founder of Merchandising Matters,
which provides merchandising support to brands, retailers and their agencies.

Reach her via email at
with questions, ideas and suggestions.