Using YouTube Videos to Drive Ecommerce Sales

The usage of movie by ecommerce merchants can increase earnings. We recently spoke with Ian Hackett, senior manager of ecommerce and consumer experience at TRX Coaching , a merchant of exercise equipment, regarding the use of video for merchandise sales. TRX Training has an extensive YouTube station , and in addition, it includes videos on its own ecommerce website.

Practical eCommerce: TRX Training utilizes video in innovative ways. Before we get into these video strategies, could you tell us a bit about TRX? What do you sell? Where are you located?

Ian Hackett:“We create our own product. Our founder, Randy Hetrick, devised it while he was in the Navy SEALs. We produce best in class training gear, workout programs and instruction courses around both primary product lines: TRX Suspension Trainer and TRX Rip Trainer. Suspension Trainer utilizes your own body weight for resistance and Rip Trainer is all about core stability and balance. So they are fine complementary products to one another.

“We’re located in San Francisco, downtown in the financial district. Randy founded the company in 2004. We went online in 2005.”

PEC: Can you tell us approximate gross earnings?

Hackett:“The yearly gross earnings are in the $40 to $50 million range.”

PEC: You’ve got an impressive array of videos on YouTube. Do you have videos on your website, Trxtraining.com?

Hackett: “Yes, Trxtraining.com is our digital flagship. We’ve got all our articles, mostly videos, we believe complements the website content that we set up, and we use it to the product detail pages to market. It kind of gives life to the item. ”

PEC: Let us move to your YouTube channel. You have a comprehensive line-up of your merchandise and exercise videos on YouTube. Why put them on YouTube?

Hackett:“We wanted to disperse the content in which the users were looking for it. When we first launched our station, a couple years before, YouTube was the top traffic website at that moment. We wanted to be sure our videos were where the users were searching for them, so we began building our station then. We have evolved it, in partnership with our YouTube team, into giving us more navigation material, and then taking a look at the package of Google products we then pick and choose what we use on that channel.”

TRX Training’s YouTube channel comprises nearly 400 videos.

PEC: Are you worried that people go to Google, search for products your organization provides, and access to your YouTube station, rather than your ecommerce website?

Hackett: “Not a concern. We look at it as a complementary content automobile. We do link from YouTube to our site.”

PEC: How can you know that the YouTube station is generating sales?

Hackett:“We monitor all our stations through Google Analytics, and we see a great number of customers coming from YouTube. Approximately 7% of our search-engine-marketing earnings came through YouTube during the previous holiday season.”

PEC: TRX Training puts the new TrueView advertisements on its videos on YouTube. What are TrueView advertisements?

Hackett:“TrueView is a part of the Google AdWords interface. The advantages we discovered were that consumers can skip the movie after 5 minutes — if they do not wish to continue with that video — and we are not charged for the advertisement. If they do need to participate further, after those 5 seconds, they basically opt into it. Our TrueView advertisements link over straight to Trxtraining.com.”

PEC: Say you have an exercise video in your YouTube station which comprises an advertisement at the bottom of it. What would that advertisement link to?

Hackett:“One of the advertisements we have running right now is on a couple of the particular workout videos. It connects straight into the shop at Trxtraining.com.”

PEC: so that you could keep up the video on YouTube and switch out various promotions that you’re having at Trxtraining.com with these TrueView ads?

Hackett: “Yes. If it’s holiday time and we’ve got a few unique promotions during this period, we’ll swap out the advertisement. It’s actually fast and easy for us to manage and market our products.”

PEC: You pay for those on a per click basis?

Hackett: “Yes.”

PEC: Inform us about the videos themselves. How many movies do you have in your YouTube channel?

Hackett:“There are nearly 400 videos up there at the moment. There are videos that will explain how you can do a particular exercise. Additionally, there are videos that we take on our trade shows. We go to a great deal of commercial and business trade shows in the fitness industry. We’ve got fun. A great deal of people come up and have a fantastic time. They do demos and we film them on occasion and we post those videos to get a little more of a lifestyle, in action, video store. That’s kind of the various kinds of content that we have up on YouTube.”

PEC: How long are the videos, normally?

Hackett:“We try to keep them about 60 seconds. Some of the trade shows go somewhat longer, up to approximately 4 minutes. Folks get a little zealous about the movie camera, but we do attempt to keep them between 60 and 90 seconds for the vast majority of them.”

PEC: how can you create the videos? How much do they cost?

Hackett:“We’re lucky to have an in-house video production group. We do all our own programming. We create the programming and then we provide it, via the workout videos. We have six full time movie team members that range from editors to videographers to the manager. It takes them everywhere from a few weeks to a few hours for each movie. Plenty of the time our workouts or exercises are only training tips that we do. It’s something done on a handheld or a foot camera.”

PEC: what’s your advice for smaller ecommerce merchants concerning video usage?

Hackett:“It does not have to be film studio quality . It’s more important to get the content to the consumers, to get it in their hands and allow them to begin exploring or being comfortable with your articles.”