3 Reasons Video Ads & eCommerce Are a Perfect Match

Posted by Katharine Panessidi on Wed, Jun 22, 2016

img-scott-briggs.jpgeCommerce is a business that often centers around visuals. So it makes perfect sense that videos are emerging as a preferred way to market eCommerce in the digital world. 

Video ads are a smart, cost-effective, and efficient method to convey your message to potential customers. From the moment a video ad is viewed, research has shown a measurable lift in ad recall, brand awareness, and purchase consideration.

The same study even showed that people didn’t have to view the entire video to drive their purchase decision, though the longer that people watched the video ad, the greater lift in ad recall.

However, viewing a video ad in full was not required for deciding to commit.

The powers that be at Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter, et al. did not create their empires by being oblivious to such trends. Almost one third of consumers are using social networks to research products.  This is why these platforms continue to innovate on ways to present advertisers an opportunity to place themselves in front of potential customers with video.

Here are three reasons why video can be a perfect match for your company:


Facebook started pushing video last summer, but to us, it seemed premature. Initially video advertising made all the sense in the world for branding; results for direct response weren’t there yet without a strategic sequencing effort (e.g. show video content to targeted audiences for 2 weeks and then retarget them with a direct response video ad).

In Q1, that all changed.

Without sequencing, video ads on Facebook started showing a significantly higher ROI for eCommerce. In Q1, we had multiple campaigns provide proof that video is the most cost effective ad type for reaching your potential consumers.

For our clients, acquisition costs were on average 25% lower with video over link ads, with some eCommerce clients seeing upwards of 175% return on ad spend.

Video advertising spending continues to increase: As eCommerce marketers allocate a growing portion of their ad budgets to mobile, the video share of specificaly mobile advertising on Facebook increased 26% in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the last quarter of 2015, and overall spending on video rose 40% in Q4 2015.

You may have noticed similar trends emerging from Instagram as well. Advertisers increased their Instagram video ad budgets 70% between February and April 2016 as the returns continue to prove worthy of the investment.


One relatively new format that makes video easy to produce AND easy to consume: live-streaming.

While this format hasn’t yet been effectively monetized, that day is not far off. Many are speculating that the ads on these formats will likely be interstitial or mid-broadcast.

Roughly 44% of brands have already played around with live-streaming video, but no one has truly dominated the medium yet. In fact, of the brands and retailers surveyed who have done some live streaming, sales and marketing goals were toward the bottom of the list; they instead used the medium for training purposes more than anything.

This poses a ripe opportunity for brands to engage new audiences with real-time video.

And while you likely think of Facebook Live or Periscope as the top players in livestreaming, there’s another familiar video-dominating channel that’s doing more to be part of the live streaming action: YouTube.

Though the most obvious application for YouTube Live is for gamers and publishers, the company is building its Connect app to open up the capability to larger audiences.

But let’s not forget YouTube’s more sophisticated offering for eCommerce advertisers: TrueView Shopping Ads, In these ads, you can have links in the video frame that showcase the products you are discussing with their prices in an unobtrusive format.


Both Wayfair and Sephora have found success by using this format. Wayfair saw a 3 times greater revenue performance using the TrueView Shopping ads over other similar campaigns. And Sephora saw an amazing 80% lift in consideration with the average viewer staying for at least two minutes.

If you’re a beauty brand and you want to showcase your latest eyeshadow, or a company selling specialized products that require showing off their features, then you can both present your item as well as sell it via YouTube.


It’s common for us to hear of eCommerce companies who presume they need a massive budget and a huge production to create a video.

Thankfully, this is absolutely not true.

Digital marketing and TV are not one in the same. The budget you may have needed for a respectable 30-second television spot doesn’t apply to video assets utilized for the web.

One of our clients had their graphic designer learn on the fly using video editing software that is readily available. Another created a video ad from a gif by swapping out the colors on a stationary product image without altering the rest of the image.

Many of these tools and tricks are not difficult to execute. Even better? Most of them are inexpensive or even free.

You can quickly repurpose existing material into something quick and fresh for an ad to be utilized on social.


Video isn’t just a new (or reinvented) format to present your brand to potential shoppers. It’s a game-changing revolution of the ad environment, and will likely consume larger and larger portions of your ad budget moving forward.

The spending on digital video is already poised to take over, and mobile is ready to become the greatest beneficiary of that spending.

Suffice it to say, with Facebook’s 52% growth in revenue in Q1, which was based heavily in video and mobile ads, understanding this format and its benefits will be a requirement for capitalizing on it.

If you’re still on the fence over how much video can impact eCommerce, think about this: More than 50% of smartphone video viewers used a video to help them make product decisions.

Don’t you want it to be your video that they use when they decide to purchase?

Want to learn more? Register here to join us at the MITX eCommerce Summit!

About the Author:
Scott Briggs is Founder and President of OrionCKB, a boutique performance advertising agency he founded alongside Carlos Cashman after his involvement in the early formation and growth of Nanigans, one of the top Facebook Marketing Partners. Scott started OrionCKB with more than 15 years of experience in product management and marketing online, and has been running ads on Facebook since the API was introduced.

Topics: video, video ads, advertising, ecommerce