Using Product Explainer Videos to Promote Your E-Commerce Business

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I passed a Saturday morning learning about ductless heating, because we’re adults and that’s apparently what we consider fun nowadays.

But after staring at ductless heating diagrams and scanning product catalogs for ages, we just kept asking “Yeah, but how does it work?”

Thankfully, Bruce Manclark from Fluid Market Strategies’ Northwest Ductless Heat Pump Team came to the rescue with this simple yet useful video.

It’s a fantastic example of a product explainer video that’s effective without requiring a huge production budget. We figured out how the heck ductless heating works, and went back to the company’s website to learn even more. If we decide to take the plunge, who do you think we’re gonna call?


Because he has a fabulous mustache, and is clearly not afraid of spiders.

Why product explainer videos help boost your e-commerce site

The personal touch

First up, it builds rapport between you and your customers. Done right, a product explainer video makes your customers feel as though they know you. That means when it comes time to buy, they’re more inclined to purchase from somebody whose face and personality they know.

This is especially effective for small businesses, though even large companies can use spokespeople to create a sense of intimacy — just think of Flo, the Progressive Girl.

SEO mojo

Product explainer videos also help you build SEO. Remember, YouTube is owned by Google, which makes it a valuable tool for getting discovered — whether you leave the videos on YouTube with a link to your website, or embed them on the site itself.

For even more SEO juice, include a transcript. (It’s fairly inexpensive to find a transcriptionist.) This not only helps you get more keywords on your site, it also makes the video accessible for your customers who are deaf or hard of hearing.

They’re handy!

Putting aside marketing reason to do product explainer videos, they’re just darn useful. This is especially true if you sell a complicated product, or if you’re selling apparel or accessories that would benefit if your customers could see them in action.

Increased satisfaction

When you show your products in action, your customers will be more likely to be satisfied with their purchase. After all, they knew exactly what they were getting when they ordered from your site. This can lead to better conversion rates and fewer returns.

How can you make a product explainer video?

The reason most e-commerce brands balk at doing product explainer videos is the cost and effort of production. But the good news is that they don’t have to be complicated. With a minimal investment in equipment and time, you can create some great new content to help you stand above the competition.

Write — and practice — a script. Unless you’re really comfortable with improv or public speaking, take the time to write up a script before shooting. This will save you lots of time and frustration. Explainer videos should less than two minutes in length, which mean a written script of 200-300 words.

Gather the right equipment. These days, even smart phone can shoot high enough quality video for a simple product explainer video. Get a tripod to hold your phone, and remember to shoot video in landscape. For audio, get an inexpensive lapel mic to cut down on background noise.

Focus on the setting: You want your products — and your people — to look their best. Shoot in natural light or in a bright room, and pay attention to whatever’s in the background. Try shooting a few minutes of sample footage and watch it on your computer to make sure it looks fine.

Edit and mix audio: Use a simple video editing software like iMovie and Windows Movie Maker to edit the video. As for audio, you can find some great low-cost royalty free music and sound effects on Audio Jungle or

Brand your videos: Don’t forget to put some sort of branding on the videos, like a caption or title screen and end credit in order to remind people who you are if they discover it away from your e-commerce site. At the end of the video, tell people where they can find this product and how to get more information.

Spread them far and wide: We already talked about creating a YouTube channel and putting up the videos on your product pages and website. But you can also include them in your email newsletter or post them on social media to help people discover them.

Do you use product explainer videos on your e-commerce site? We’d love to know your best tips. Tell us in the comments!

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash