As the popularity surrounding online shopping grew, analysts nervously predicted the end of retail as we know it. The end never came. Then, as influencer culture blew up and direct-to-consumer brands started trending, analysts once again touted it as the end times. In reality, people may love the convenience of online shopping, but the practice isn’t beating out the experience of shopping brick and mortar. Instead, the steady influx of online content, specifically online videos, has merely evolved our brick and mortar shopping experience. 

It makes sense when you think about it. Reviews and instructions have always been essential components of the shopping experience. After all, we want to ensure that our money is well spent and that we will be capable of using the product. Video content transforms the traditional shopping experience and modernizes it. 

Now, we can see the product working in real-time, following along with the video to achieve our desired outcome. What’s more, think about the last time you cooked something complicated or attempted a DIY project. Chances are, you turned towards video content for some much-needed guidance, or perhaps as a reminder of the ingredients or tools you needed. 

To determine the varied and complex ways people use video content, Google recently surveyed over 24,000 people in 10 different countries, as well as conducted in-person interviews with 125 individuals. Their research found that over 55% of shoppers turn to videos when shopping in-store. From a marketing and UX perspective, this discovery presents extraordinary opportunities for brands to produce content that enhances customers’ overall experience with their products. 

On top of the survey determining the number of people who use video when shopping, it also revealed the scenarios in which consumers turn to online videos while in-store. 

Virtual Shopping List

Why carry around a pen and paper, when everything you need is a click away on your phone? Google’s survey revealed that many people have decided to forgo traditional shopping lists. Instead, they pull up videos in-store to remind them of the products or tools they need. 

Plus, unlike conventional cookbooks or how-to guides, online videos often recommend specific products for obtaining the best result. Participants in the survey repeatedly discussed the convenience of fast-forwarding a video to find the moment a vlogger or content creator mentioned a specific product. 

Boosts Consumer Confidence

Perhaps you got a little overly ambitious and decided to host Thanksgiving for the first time. As the holiday inches closer, you begin to panic about how much cooking you’ll have to do. After all, you’ve never cooked a turkey. In need of assistance, you consult a few videos and, suddenly, you not only have a list of ingredients but a whole game plan. 

As one survey participant stated, “YouTube has taught me that I’m capable of doing what I didn’t know I could do.” For the modern consumer, empowerment is essential. With the help of video content, we feel capable and competent to take on new experiences. What’s more, if a brand can show us exactly how to use their product, we trust that we’ll be able to replicate their results at home. 

Help Make Decisions

Consider the world of beauty and cosmetics: as a multi-billion dollar industry, new products hit the market every single day. The innumerable options consumers face can be rather debilitating—after all, with multiple brands coming out with similar products, how can they choose which is best for them? 

When consumers make choices like the one above, the deciding factor is, more often than not, video content. Reviews, wear tests, and comparison videos help us get the 411 on products because we see what they’re capable of and how they perform on real people. The results are tangible and unedited. Instead of wading through thousands of reviews, we can watch a few videos and come to a helpful conclusion. 

The fact that consumers turn to videos while shopping in-store demonstrates that there are needs brands can (and should) fulfill to give their customers a more well-rounded user experience. The more helpful the content is, and the more empowered it makes them feel, the more likely they are to give your brand their business.