jason arend's streaming media west 2009 video commerce speech and presentation transcript
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Transcript of Jason Arend's speech and presentation on Video Commerce - The Quiet Revolution, given Nov 17, 2009 at the San Jose McEnry Convention Center in San Jose, Ca.
Cell: 1 (417) 496-6315Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Or email@example.comTwitter: http://www.twitter.com/jasonarendLinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jasonarendWebsite: http://www.jasonarend.com
PFI: http://www.pfiwestern.comShopping Western Stye:http://www.shoppingwesternstyle.com
(Slide 1 - Title Slide)
Good Afternoon. My name is Jason Arend I'm the Director E-Commerce, Online Marketing and Creative Services for all PFI companies and production director of the television show Shopping Western Style. PFI actually started in 1975 as Preferred Farmers Incorporated, a dusty little store selling cattle feed and farm supplies and though we long ago stopped carrying cattle feed we now have several successful companies such as Saddle CIty that provides equestrian equipment to Diamond Ridge Market that sells private label wines and we are now one of the largest, and certainly the most innovative, single store western wear retailers in the world. PFI Western Store, which is what I'll be focusing on today, consists of a single 50,000 square ft retail space with over 20,000 pairs of boots on hand, many of which are designed exclusively for us, and our online business pfiwestern.com
About a year and half ago we were looking at creative way to stay aggressive with our marketing efforts to reach new customers and increase band awareness during what we knew was going to be a tough economic period. We decided to purchase air time on a niche cable & satellite network called RFD-TV that boasts 40 million subscriber and provides programming aimed at rural america directly serving the agriculture and equestrian communities.
This is very much the core customer base for PFI Western Store.
(Next, Slide 2 - Television Show Video Preview)
We created a sort of western home shopping show that features the latest in boots, saddles and western fashion. It is extremely important that we keep the show as down to earth as possible so we shoot everything in-house, unscripted, using representatives from our manufacturers and in-store product experts as talent. Often the product designers themselves come on to talk about how the product was developed to directly improve the lives and activities that are relevant to the western and rural lifestyle. We use the show primarily as a direct sales, merchandising and educational tool which has worked really well for us and we will continue with this format moving forward. But we are now producing other types of web only video content such as product fit guides and product care how-to's that are embedded directly in product detail pages. We've now taken Shopping Western Style on the Road for our "American Made Tour," a series showcasing products we sell that are made right here in America and presenting fun, educational tours of their factories and some of the remarkable handcrafted products that they produce. This has worked really well with this type of demographic.
By building close partnerships with our manufacturers we've been able to cover almost all costs using CO-OP and advertising dollars. And work closely with them to make Shopping Western style an important part of their promotional and product launches, allowing us to be the first to show the latest product in the western industry.
Once I had the production workflow for the television show running fairly efficiently I knew it was crucial to find ways to utilize this content online. You don't have to have a lot of resources or money to start producing product videos and merchandising content online. At that point we had the content but we literally had NO budget to build and carry out our online video strategy None at all.
(Next, Slide 3 - Interesting Facts)
In about 3 months, on top of our normal work load, we were able to build a massive branded video commerce website developed completely in-house by myself and programmer, Myke Bates. Utilizing open source technologies such as Wordpress and Flowplayer and integrating them with Interact, our existing ecommerce platform. Again, production, photography, design, development, everything is done in house, nothing is outsourced, and I think we've built a uniquely enjoyable shopping experience that rivals even the largest video commerce merchants.
Obviously I am not even close to being a cowboy, One of the things I've learned as I've tried to get a grip on this industry is that a good part of the customer base is several years behind on technology, actually 37% of our online visitors are over the age of 50 and from a rural environment they are still very nervous about purchasing and divulging personal b& financial information online. That is all starting to change, having the same product experts you would find in our store demonstrating our products online has allowed us to give our website a human face and build trust with the customer where we can now present cutting edge technologies in a friendly, enjoyable way that is relevant to them. Video is the one tool that seems to be resonating across all age demographics for us online.
(Next, Slide 4 - State of PFI's Video Commerce Program)
We now have over 55 full 26 min episodes of our television show and and about 500 pieces of unique video content currently online. On Average we are seeing a 50% increase in conversion rates on products that have video and a 27% reduction in returns. we are also seeing Increases in average order value, increase in return visits and longer average time on site. Nearly a quarter of our daily visitors viewing on-site videos. It has completely changed the way we think about online merchandising and customer engagement.
As Justin said before we really are using a strategy of video everywhere,
(Next, Slide 5 - Multichannel Video Strategy)
From the television show to the branded video website, to product pages, landing pages, syndication to video sharing sites, social networks, and we are now using video in the majority of our email campaigns and seeing 2 -3 times the click throughs when supported by video previews. We also provide all of our video content through RSS feeds and syndication to the iTunes store as a podcast where our customers can subscribe to the show for free and and sync it to there ipods, iphones or itunes compatible mobile devices.
Since the very beginning of the show we have been syndicating all of our video content to about 10 of the top online video sharing communities. This is the one area that has been the least effective in driving traffic to our site. Users really aren't looking directly for our type of content on youtube. But we have automated and streamlined our workflow enough that it is not costing us anything and it still helps with brand visibility and SEO.
(Next, Slide 6 - Video SEO Results)
The SEO benefits are one of the most attractive aspects of using online product video not only are we starting to see substantial increases in our organic rankings but we can absolutely dominate the video search results in google, often taking up 9 of the top ten results for various related keywords. And in Bing & Yahoo our content is often taking up over 90% of the video search results on the first page for targeted keywords!
Lately we've been working on ways of increasing customer interaction by encouraging our customers to share stories and testimonials online and have started a new program called "Ask the Experts" where we take questions from our viewers and answer them on the television show really to further position ourselves as the authority on the western industry and lifestyle.
It isn't just online that we are seeing substantial increases in traffic and sales. Out Store is very much becoming a tourist destination in and of it self. I came up with and developed with Myke Bates an in-store Kiosk system that aids in customer data acquisition and allows us to track what triggered the customers to come into our store, what products they are interested in and what advertising efforts are working. We found that nearly a third of visitors coming to the store in the last 6 months are coming from watching the show on television, And another third are coming from seeing us online. After I broke down the kiosk users addresses into latitude and longitude I found that the average customer is traveling over 300 miles as the crow flies to come to our store, and obviously the actual distance travelled is greater than that. But this number absolutely blew us away
One downside to using video content that was originally targeted to a television audience is that it doesn't quite follow best practices for online product videos and we will be rolling out a ton of new content next year that are short 30-60 sec product walkthroughs made specifically for the web with less fluff than what's necessary for the television show. They are actually very similar to what Zappos is working on but with more emphasis on lifestyle.
While we are extremely happy with the state of our current video strategy there are many new areas I'm currently exploring as we move forward, from infrequent Video MMS advertisements to text message subscribers, iphone and mobile applications, interactive in-store videos, augmented reality virtual mirrors, and an all encompassing interactive video shopping experiences through touch-enabled devices. Existing and emerging multi touch technology such as a iphone, palm pre or the long rumored apple tablets are providing us channel in which to step beyond our existing front-ends, simplify our UI's & navigation and provide a more engaging experience for our us