How to Create High-Converting Product Videos for Ecommerce – with the Power of Storytelling

The science is in: product videos for ecommerce can, and do, boost conversions

That’s the good news. The bad news is, most brands don’t do a great job using video to sell their products. 

The best they can come up with is showing off the merchandise in extreme close-ups, blasting epic music in the background, and listing a bunch of features that sound great in a boardroom meeting… but won’t actually convince people to buy.

Your brand might get away with something like that if it’s a household name with millions of fans. If you aren’t, though, you need to step up your video marketing game, pronto.

And the best way to improve your ecommerce product videos is… with storytelling!

This is exactly what we’ll talk about in today’s article. We’ll show you 3 counter-intuitive but extremely powerful strategies to help your product videos grab customers’ attention and get them to want your product — and want it bad.

You will learn:

  • Why the product should not be the #1 focus of your product videos (whaaat?)
  • 2 kinds of stories you can tell to make even boring products sound exciting
  • The no-brainer principle of visual storytelling that will help you sell anything
  • Why customers don’t care about product features (and what to “sell” instead)

Sound good? Then onward!

The picture shows The Draw Shop's mascot, ROIVid, telling a story to a woman

1. Tell your story about the customer, not the product

Here’s a trick question: what should be the main focus of your ecommerce product video?

That’s right: the customer! We’re sooo happy you already knew that. *exaggerated wink* Now, here’s why that is — just in case you forgot. *even more exaggerated wink*

This is going to sound harsh, but your customers don’t care about you or your product. However, just like any human ever, they care about themselves an awful lot! So the best way to get their attention isn’t by telling them about a great product they’ve never heard of…

…but by telling them a story about themselves — and inserting your product into it.

Now, how does this look in practice? Well, let’s say that you run an ecommerce brand specializing in different sleep aids. Mattresses, bedding, pillows, light-based alarm clocks, supplements, you name it.

What kinds of customer-focused stories could you tell in your ecommerce product videos? And more importantly, how would they help you sell more merchandise?

Well, we can think of at least two:

1. The “problem story” — talk to the customer about something you know they struggle with, and position your product as the solution.

For example, if you’re making a product video about a mattress, you could start with a story about back pain, and explain how the mattress will help your customers get rid of it.

2. The aspirational story — talk to the customer about something they want to do or someone they want to be.

Like, let’s say that one of your products is a light-based alarm clock. It wakes you up silently, gently, and at the perfect time in your sleep cycle. You could tell your customers about how this product will make them more successful — by helping them wake up ahead of everyone else, full of energy, and get so much more done.

See? A good story can help even the simplest, most “boring” products to sell better. And you’ll always find one if you dig deep enough!

2. Show the product in context and in action

Most product videos for ecommerce just show off the merchandise from different angles — or show the unboxing process to give you an idea of what you get.

Sure, your product looks awesome in a professional studio with great lighting and a nice background, no argument there. But do you know how it might look even better? In action, being used by a real-life human!

Whenever possible, you want to show:

  1. People looking cool while using your product…
  2. People using your product to solve a problem…
  3. Or even just people using your product, period!

Showing something in action / putting something in context is the simplest form of video storytelling. Present your customers with a situation they can easily imagine themselves in — and they will “get” your product much quicker.

This might be our favorite example of an ecommerce product video that uses this storytelling principle. It’s a 30-second ad… for a hoodie… with a front pocket… for holding beer. And it’s hilarious.

This video manages to find a way to show off the most boring action (putting beer in a pocket!) in a highly entertaining way. There’s no narration of any kind — the entire message is being conveyed just through changes in visuals and music. But it’s crystal-clear what the video is trying to say.

No matter what you sell, there’s probably a way to show off your product in action. It doesn’t have to look cool — even a straightforward, “this is how you use it” demonstration will do the job!

3. Sell benefits and outcomes, not features

When you’re creating an ecommerce product video, your first instinct might be to gush about the features of your product. The out-of-this world technical specs. The unique process that went into manufacturing it. The nerdy details about how it works.

Trust us when we tell you that you don’t want to do that.

Remember our earlier lesson: your customers don’t care about your product. Not even a little bit!

They only care about what it will help them do. How it will change their life for the better. What results it will help them achieve. They don’t want to hear about how great your product is — instead, they want to know how amazing it will make them look, feel, or act.

In other words, your customers care about outcomes and benefits 100x more than specific features.

Now, that doesn’t mean that you can never, ever mention product features in your ecommerce videos. Not at all! Just follow the tried-and-true principles of brand storytelling and:

1. Focus on the solution, not product factoids. Before you even start talking about features, let your viewers know why they need to pay attention. Tell them how your product is the answer to a problem they’re desperate to solve, and have struggled with for years. That way, when you get to features, you’ll be discussing them in the larger context of “here’s how this product will improve your life.”

2. “Connect the dots” between features and benefits/results. Remember our mattress example from earlier? You don’t want to simply say that your high-tech mattress is made of memory foam. Well, you could — but it would be boring and unengaging! Instead, tie this feature to specific, tangible outcomes your customers want: a good night’s sleep, no back pain, more energy to face the day, and so on.

Want to learn more about making great ecommerce product videos?

Check out this post on using whiteboard videos to grow your ecommerce brand

Or, if you want to learn more about growing and running an ecommerce brand in general, listen to this incredibly useful podcast interview with 7-figure ecommerce entrepreneur Trey Lewellen. You’re welcome!

Step up your video marketing with an irresistible Elevator Pitch

What if you could take any customer from knowing nothing about your brand — to practically begging you to tell them more… in 30 seconds or less?

That’s the power of a great Elevator Pitch. Learn how you can get yours here