Retail relies on video

Smartphones are an increasingly important device for video consumption, according to a new Digitalsmiths report. In Q3 2015, 41.1% of respondents from its survey of 3,153 US and Canadian adult consumers said they watch video content from their smartphones, a 4.7% year-over-year (YoY) increase in viewership. And 43.4% watch on a weekly basis, an increase of 2.8% YoY. This growing habit toward mobile video has huge implications for e-commerce brands and retailers.

Consumers like seeing videos when shopping online, which ultimately helps lead to purchase decisions, according to Animoto.

73% of US adults are more likely to make an online purchase after watching a product description video.
These videos also leave an important impression about the company itself — 58% of consumers consider a company with product video content to be more trustworthy.
71% say that they leave a positive impression of a company.
And 77% consider these companies to be more engaged with customers.
One example of this kind of success is British e-commerce pureplay Asos, whose site and mobile app offer runway videos of models walking and moving in the listed apparel product. And its overall mobile presence has gained traction worldwide. The company’s mobile app has been downloaded 5.4 million times — and mobile devices accounted for 60% of traffic and 44% of its total sales as of the end of August 2015, according to Internet Retailer.

MOBILE RETAIL APPS GAINING IN POPULARITY: Mobile retail app usage is growing among consumers, with 84% of US consumers having at least one retail app on their smartphone, according to comScore. In addition to merely downloading these apps, consumers are spending more time using them. Top retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Target see a majority of their mobile traffic coming from mobile apps.

However, increased time spend does not necessarily mean more money will be spent.

There is still a 45% gap between how much time consumers spend researching retail on mobile and how much is actually spent on mobile.
What is responsible for this huge disparity? Mobile apps are not being developed properly for the space they occupy. Many consumers claim they are inhibited from making purchases on mobile apps because they’re not able to see product details or they have difficulty inputting personal and payment information. Brands and retailers that want to attract more users to mobile apps need to focus on designing an experience optimized for the devices consumers use — rather than simply transferring content made for desktop to the smartphone. This could include options like one-step checkout, vertical videos, or larger text sizes for the smaller screen. Otherwise, smartphones will remain a tool used for research rather than for e-commerce.

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