The Benefits of Making E-commerce Video Accessible




  • — June 3, 2019

    The Benefits of Making E-commerce Video Accessible

    Bokskapet / Pixabay

    Online video is a big deal, and we’re not just saying that. Currently, 78 percent of people watch online videos every week, and 55 percent do so on a daily basis. By 2022, online video will make up 82 percent of internet traffic. So, how does e-commerce video fit into the equation?

    It’s simple: Videos pique consumers’ interest and help drive revenue for e-commerce retailers. In Brightcove’s 2018 Video Marketing Survey, 76 percent of consumers reported that they’ve purchased a product or service after viewing a video. That number is too significant to go unnoticed, and it shows just how impactful online video can be.

    Video marketing is already a powerful tool for e-commerce brands, and creating accessible videos proves to offer even greater benefits.

    Accessibility helps everyone, not just people with disabilities

    Have you ever heard of the “curb cut effect?”

    The “curb cut effect” is the idea that things which were initially designed for people with disabilities can also benefit everyone. This concept inspired the field of universal design. The goal of universal design is to make objects and places as usable as possible for everyone, regardless of ability. Though universal design originally applied to the physical realm, it’s now used just as often in the digital world.

    For instance, closed captions were created to make television accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing, but we now know that captioned television shows, movies, and online videos provide value to all people.

    With captions, online videos are more accessible to those with learning disorders, neurological disabilities, and learners of English as a second language. Captions also help improve focus, comprehension, brand recall, and behavioral intent—all of which are highly sought after in the e-commerce world.

    The “curb cut effect” is an excellent reminder that providing accessible e-commerce video can benefit anyone, whether they have a disability or not.

    Closed captions and transcripts contribute to better SEO

    Search engines are unable to watch videos in the same way humans can, and therefore they must index videos by their metadata. However, metadata doesn’t typically paint a complete picture of the content. Fortunately, making your e-commerce video accessible is a great way to address this dilemma.

    Captions provide a text version of videos and allow search engine bots to read and index the content more accurately. However, it’s crucial that your captions are correct. Inaccurate captions devalue the viewing experience and could ultimately get your videos marked as spam.

    E-commerce videos are a powerful marketing tool; and when these assets are accurately captioned, they’ll experience a boost in search engine visibility and ranking.

    Accessible videos vastly improve the user experience

    A study by the University of Iowa showed that people can recall information better after both seeing and hearing it. Part of the reason why videos are beloved by so many is that they provide excellent auditory and visual stimulation, but making video accessible appeals to viewers’ senses even further.

    For example, with closed captions, people can simultaneously watch, listen to, and read the content of a video. Not only does this enhance the user experience, but it also improves brand recall and awareness and behavioral intent. This is critical in the e-commerce space, where brands use video to show their products in action.

    Closed captions provide viewing flexibility

    Today, internet traffic is largely mobile, which is good news since viewers can watch e-commerce video in any environment—including public transportation, libraries, gyms, and any other place you can imagine.

    If there’s one thing that mobile users don’t appreciate, though, it’s when videos autoplay with the sound on. It turns out that 85 percent of Facebook videos are viewed with the sound off. But without any audio, how will viewers get the message from your videos?

    Captions are the best way to combat silent autoplay because they allow users to view videos in sound-sensitive environments—without ever having to listen to the video’s audio. But captions aren’t the only way to make videos more watchable.

    Audio description, which is “the verbal depiction of key visual elements in media and live productions,” also allows a flexible viewing experience. While its primary purpose is to make videos accessible to people who are blind or low vision, audio description also enhances the viewing experience for all viewers by making it easier to multitask while watching videos.

    Translated closed captions make reaching a global audience possible

    In 2018, 1.8 billion people around the world made online purchases, and global e-retail sales reached 2.8 trillion US dollars. With that number expected to grow immensely in the coming years, online brands are looking for ways to reach customers across the globe.

    There’s no question that e-commerce video is a great way to showcase your brand, products, and services to a global audience—and by translating these videos into multiple languages, you can make your content accessible to a broader range of international consumers.

    When a video is already captioned, it makes translation an easy next step. Additionally, captions help those who speak English as a second language (or those who are learning English) to absorb the information better.

    By prioritizing captioning, you can make translating your videos more straightforward—ensuring that your e-commerce content is available to more people around the world.

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