Ultimate Guide to Ecommerce Video Use

Ultimate Guide to Ecommerce Video Use

Yusuf Shurbaji
Feb 22, 2024
min read


  • Videos enhance ecommerce engagement and conversions.
  • For product pages, use muted, looping, auto-play videos.
  • Homepage/Rich Content video should be descriptive, include captions, and be mute by default. Avoid visible video above the fold. 
  • Opt for custom players and simple backgrounds for a better user experience.
  • Choose hosting to minimize distractions and manage costs.
  • Track ROI with A/B testing 

Overview and Conversion Impact

In the realm of ecommerce, video stands out as a quickly growing and pivotal tactic. It is not merely a trend but a potent tool for engaging audiences and enhancing conversion rates.

When executed properly, videos bring products to life in ways that images and text cannot. In this article, we dive into how you can make sure video on your site leads to a return on investment, ROI, and is not a sunk cost from poor execution. 

The tips in this article are based on years of experience in ecommerce and multiple practitioners with decades of combined experience and multiple split tests on the matter. 

No guide is a one-size fits all approach so always test to see what works best for your brand. Let’s begin!

Best Practices by Location

Video in the Product Page Media Gallery 

On product pages, video included in the media gallery, sometimes referred to as an image carousel, should be muted, set to autoplay, and loop. This ensures immediate engagement without overwhelming the viewer.

For waterfall galleries consider placement near the end. Since waterfall galleries have everything in view right away, a slower loading video can hurt the experience. 


Example from
Video set to muted, autoplay and on a loop. Example from Mejuri

The optimal placement is in the second position for a carousel style media gallery. If your gallery has image thumbnails, consider using a video thumbnail. If your gallery uses icons, then switch from a bullet or standard icon to a play button to indicate a video is available.  

Example from
Gallery thumbnail indicates video. Example from Nike

These placements balance load times with visibility to drive conversions. Based on testing, we at Prismfly have seen as high as 3x the conversion rate when users view video vs only seeing imagery. 

The content of these videos should focus on demonstrating the product. They are best used to show the product in use, highlight its features, or present its lifestyle appeal.

Homepage & Rich Content Video Use

Videos in these areas can be more descriptive and include audio. They are ideal for explaining product benefits, use cases, or unique features.

We highly recommend avoiding video for a hero section (above the fold) as the same impact can often be achieved with an image with a fraction of the load time, cost, thus boosting your speed score and user experience. 

Video on the homepage, about us page, or product page featuring the brand's story often requires audio. Proceed with caution! For videos like these, it is critical to have audio muted by default. An interactive icon to unmute the video is best practice. Consider having the first click of the video unmute it and play it from the beginning. 

Use captions if there is a voice over. Remember audio is not always accessible to all visitors or appropriate in all settings.

Use Video to Highlight Before & After Impact

Highlighting before and after product use with video is a great way to directly show your product's impact by contrasting 'before' scenarios with 'after' results. This clear, visual evidence helps demonstrate effectiveness and value, making it easier for viewers to see the real-world benefits of your offering.

Before & After section from CÉCRED

Instructional Video & 'How to Use' Sections

Videos serve as an effective tool for demonstrating the practical application and usage of a product. By visually breaking down instructions into simple, easy-to-follow steps, they can significantly enhance understanding and engagement.

This method helps customers quickly grasp how to maximize the product's value, leading to increased satisfaction and confidence in their purchase.

How to video section from Lashify

Video Reviews or Testimonials

Using video for testimonials brings customer experiences to life, offering a personal touch that text alone cannot match.

Social proof is a powerful tool. These testimonials build trust by showing real people sharing their genuine experiences and the benefits they have received, making the product's impact more relatable and convincing to potential buyers.

Homepage customer video reviews from AG1
Video social proof section powered by on Luxy Hair

Enhancing User Experience

The choice of video player significantly impacts the user experience. Custom video players offer a more refined and brand-centric viewing experience.

Design elements of the video are equally crucial. Stick with simple backgrounds and use thoughtful editing to keep the focus on the product, especially for product media gallery videos.

Lifestyle Emphasis

In this example, Gooseberry features their lingerie in a lavish mansion setting. This aligns the brand and product with aspiration.

Lifestyle focused video from Gooseberry
Studio style with Product Emphasis

In this example, Lululemon's aim is showcasing a technical product. The video has a muted background and focuses shots highlighting material, fit, and features.

Studio style video highlighting product features. Example from Lululemon

Hosting Options & Considerations

When it comes to hosting, options vary from in-built solutions to dedicated video delivery services. Shopify and most other ecommerce platforms provide a basic yet effective solution that is customizable by a competent development team. 

While external platforms can offer superior quality, speed, and player customization, there is often a cost. 

Using the out-of-the-box embed options on platforms like YouTube could inadvertently direct customers away from your site given the end of video suggested watch options and how the title is linked. 

Note: If hosting on a video platform such as Vimeo or YouTube, remember that public view counts can inadvertently aid competitors in gauging product popularity. To prevent this, consider hosting on Shopify or making videos unlisted.

Tracking ROI of Video 

Measuring the impact of video is key to understand ROI. 

A/B testing is a reliable method to accurately assess the value of video. Showcase video to half your audience and not the other half. An experiment is the only way to accurately know the value of video. Such insights are invaluable for refining your ecommerce strategy. 

A less accurate alternative method is to have a developer implement a custom video view event using Google Analytics. 

Then, compare revenue per session for the audience who clicked a video with the audience that did not. Excluding bounced sessions from both audiences will reduce selection bias. 

Leverage the power of tools like FullStory to see how users interact with video and if they seek it out.

You might find some users turn to video religiously. 

Investing in Video

Start by investing in video for best sellers first. It is fine to have video for only a smaller assortment of products to begin with. 

While representing all product colors with a unique video is ideal, it is usually not necessary. A practical approach is to create a video in the most popular color and use it across all variants. This strategy effectively conveys the product's appeal with a more efficient use of resources.

Alo Yoga PDP Video Example
One color used for multiple SKUs. Example from Alo Yoga


Video content, when optimized correctly, can significantly uplift an ecommerce platform. Adhering to these best practices, you will enhance user engagement and offers detailed insights into products.

Remember best practices do not cover edge cases, it is best to experiment with what works for your brand. This article covers tips for basic video use. If successful, we always encourage merchants to experiment with new and innovative placements.