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I’ve filled a lot of online shopping carts in my day.  But I’ve probably abandoned more than half of them without making a purchase.  Somewhere between my initial excitement and the moment where I enter my credit card number, I get a sinking feeling in my gut, and start to ask some questions that are tough to answer.  How big is it really? Is the color shown accurate? Is the construction of high quality?  How does it all fit together?  I suspect you (and your customers) may have had a similar experience, so I’m here to offer 4 simple tips for making more helpful product videos that should allay some of those fears.

1. Show The Size

Maybe you’ve got some text indicating the dimensions of your product.  Or are those the dimensions of the product box?  It is easy to be confused, and lots of people (like me) don’t have an accurate mental tape measure.  So make it easy for your users to quickly and clearly determine if your product is the right size.  Include an everyday object next to your product for comparison.  Let your viewer know how tall your models are.  When the shopper is confident, a purchase is more likely.

2. Check those colors.

I ordered a pair of green pants the other week.  Trendy, I know.  The photograph online showed them as a dusty lightish green.  The color described by the seller? ‘Green’.  I pulled the trigger, despite already having some green pants, because the price was right, and these appeared to be lighter than my hunter green AGs I had purchased in a store.  When they finally arrived and I tore open the package, I was disheartened to find not the dusty green of my dreams, but a shade so much darker as to be indistinguishable from the pants already hanging in the closet.  I resolved to never order from that vendor in the future.  This in spite of the fact that I’d had several satisfying purchases previously. My one bad experience (with color, specifically) has soured my entire relationship for an online retailer, and I’m likely not alone.

There are a lot of high-tech reasons your product’s color may not be represented exactly on-screen.  Daylight, lamplight, fluorescents – these all show color differently.  Make sure you indicate what kind of lighting your product is under and if you can, show your product under various light sources.  Or juxtapose it with a common object – a can of soda would work well (they spend a lot of money making sure their packaging is consistent,) so viewers can compare colors or account for variations in their own screen.

3. Show it in action.

You don’t need to commission an infomercial – but demonstrating your product in action can be a big help for shoppers.  Is there a trick to assembling it?  How do you access the battery?  What does it sound like when it is running?  Anticipate questions like these based on your own customers’ feedback, and answer them up-front.  If you’re scared to show some aspect of operation to your customers, that’s a bad sign.  So fire it up, test it out, show alternate use cases, adaptations, hacks, and any other feature or function that sets your product apart.

4. Go head-to-head.

I’ve always tried to compare competing brands in a category when making my purchase decision.  Some shopping sites allow me to compare product images and lists of functions head-to-head, but I believe there’s nothing quite like a full-contact contest to settle the question.  So put your product to the test against a competitor’s (no need to identify them).  Highlight what makes yours different, whether it’s price, versatility, durability – don’t be obsessed with making the competition look bad – be objective.  Maybe a competitor’s product is more durable – but perhaps their price point is too high.  Consumers value authenticity and transparency, so keep your comparison legitimate.

Producing better product videos can make a big difference in your sales.  But you’ll never know until you try – so get to it.  As always, if you need some help, we’re here to answer your questions (or just do it for you.)