When you land a visitor on a product page, what’s your primary goal for them? If you’re like most retailers, you want them to make a purchase. But not all visitors make our job easy by immediately clicking “Add to Cart.” Most visitors seek additional information to aid in their purchase decision. Video is becoming an increasingly valuable tool for conveying that information.

Internet Retailer supports that claim, reporting that visitors who view product videos are 85 percent more likely to buy than visitors who do not. However, the video has to be noticed and played to have an impact. That can be a challenge on a product page with many calls to action (CTAs). So here are three data-driven merchandising tips to boost video view rates:

1) Place the video above the fold

Placing the video above the fold is actually the highest determining factor associated with view rate. View rate is defined as the number of site visitors who view a video divided by the number of visitors who could have viewed a video. For example, if 10,000 unique visitors land on a product page and 1,500 of them watch a video, the view rate is 15 percent.

In a video merchandising study by Invodo, videos that were placed above the fold experienced almost twice the view rate of videos merchandised lower on the page. So although some web theorists will claim that the fold doesn’t matter anymore, research of over 7,000 product pages clearly proves that many online shoppers won’t take that extra second to scroll down.

2) Use a prominent call to action

How do you get something you want? An online marketer knows to ask for the click. Merely placing a video on a product page isn’t enough. The video needs a visible call to action. A play button or textual CTA informs shoppers that a video exists, enticing them to click and view.

The Invodo merchandising study found that including a textual or graphical CTA increased the view rate by 2.5 percent. As consumers become more accustomed to watching video as a part of the online shopping experience, consider using a “Play” button, as it is a universally recognized symbol for online video.

3) Feature products with video on category and search pages

Most online stores haven’t deployed video across every single product page. When planning a video strategy, myriad factors such as product complexity, profit margin and popularity lead to deciding which products merit video coverage.

BizChair.com category pageOne way to make the most of product videos is to feature them on category and search pages, especially focusing on higher priced items. As depicted at right in an example from BizChair.com, adding bold and consistent video CTAs to select products on category and on-site search results pages increases video awareness and drives engagement. And providing access to videos at the category level allows consumers to comparison-shop several products without ever having to navigate to the product pages.

Online retailers can get the most out of video with compelling CTAs, prominent placements and strategic product choices. And when these smart merchandising tactics increase view rates, the conversion rate follows along. Who wouldn’t want that this holiday season?

Russ SomersRuss Somers is Director of Marketing at Invodo, a full-service ecommerce video solution that helps businesses sell more through the power of video.