The Direct Marketing, iPad, and Video Holiday Shopping Link

You’ve seen the headlines already. Early holiday shopping sales broke records. But we’re honing in on a movement in online shopping, and the use of video, that every direct marketer should be paying close attention to.

The movement we’ve seen is the migration of online shopping to mobile, most specifically, the Apple iPad. We’ll share with you in a moment why this is significant to direct marketers, but first, let’s establish the iPad’s dominance this season by reviewing the numbers.

Based on early holiday shopping, mobile users preferred the iPad to make online purchases more than any other device—by a factor of 9-to-1 over all other tablets on cyber-Monday. In fact, market share of iPad use more than doubled over last year’s holiday shopping season, while the use of Android devices was flat.

The imbalance you should take note of is between iPad use and Android use for online shopping. Among all tablet owners, 52% of them own an iPad, and 48% have an Android device (Pew Research).

Yet, with Apple’s 52% market share, their users accounted for 88% of online shopping traffic. Android’s 48% share of tablet owners accounted for only 12% of traffic (IBM’s 2012 Digital Analytics Benchmark Report).

The deep dive, here, is that tablets—specifically the iPad—are fast becoming the leading digital transaction and consumption device of choice.

Why?

There are a handful of reasons. Among them, videos are more easily consumed on iPads than on other devices, and as I’ll show you in a few moments, online video is being credited with closing more sales and getting higher conversions.

For direct marketers, the confluence of online video and iPad use is new an opportunity that will only increase as the popularity of iPads continues to grow.

So why iPads over Androids? We offer these reasons.

First, not all mobile is created visually equal and easy-to-use. Screen sizes on mobile devices vary from around 4 inches for a smartphone, to the standard size iPad tablet at about 10 inches. Newer mini tablets are about 7 inches. The size of the screen affects the ability to deliver effective advertising or promotional material.

Second, not all media are created equal. The level of engagement differs substantially as consumers see banner ads, social networking “likes,” and video on different types of mobile devices. Banner ads don’t work so well on smartphones because they are disproportionately large. But video works on all sizes of mobile devices, and video works best on tablets.

If that wasn’t enough of a reason for you to create direct response videos optimized for mobile devices, especially iPads, consider that videos increase conversion rates, and conversion from video is even higher on mobile devices.

Mobile shoppers are 3 times more likely to click and view video than desktop or laptop users (Invodo).

Those who view a video are 144% more likely to place that item in a shopping cart (Internet Retailer).

52% say that watching a video makes them more confident about their purchasing decisions (Invodo).

Tablets ave a higher average order value per transaction at $125 compared to $100 for a PC user or $75 for a smartphone (Monetate).

E-commerce isitors who watch a video are 64% more likely to make a purchase than those who don’t watch a video (ComScore).

I could continue with reasons you should use video and be ready for the exploding mobile, and iPad, market, but the primary point we’re making is this:

Mobile will only grow. iPad use and influence in the market will continue to grow. And videos will continue to be a significant factor in online direct marketing success.

So what should you do? Here are 3 deep dive action items:

1. Conduct a competitive analysis of what your competition is doing with online video. If they’re already there, it’s costing you business. Look at competitor websites for video, search on YouTube and social media. Check the length, and examine their format.

2. You have an opportunity to be the category leader by a repositioning your marketing strategy to include online video. If you haven’t already, create a video now and test it by sending an email alert to your customer list. Be sure to include the word “video” in your subject line. When you do, open rates rise by 7% to 13% (Experian 2012 Digital Marketer Benchmark and Trend Report).

3. A/B test your current approach, or control, with video. Even better: test video formats, length, offers, and call-to-actions.

These are all best-practice approaches that will take your direct marketing and online video marketing initiatives, to a new, higher level. And if you think it’s too late to do something this season, challenge yourself and your team to think again. Test online video next week so you can read the results and be ready for 2013.

Gary Hennerberg

After a lot of years in marketing and sales, this is what I know works:

Stories sell. Think unique. Stimulate emotion. Close deals. And here are a few other gems from my new book, “Crack the Customer Mind Code.” Know the persona, interpret your offer and let your prospect give themselves permission to buy. That’s how the brain is wired. It’s how people think.

What else? When I’m not breaking down complex topics (or ones marketers over-complicate) into easy-to-grasp stories that sell, I crunch numbers. Manage projects. Write. Teach. Lead.