Retail businesses rely on customers coming into their stores and spending money. Getting more customers spending more money is the name of the game.
With the exception of advertising, advertising, and more advertising, a lot of retail stores don’t do much else. (There are other options but they’re not always done well). However, a recent trend is creating some interesting opportunities for retail stores and if you run any kind of B2C store, you might want to consider how this trend applies to you.
INTRODUCING THE TREND
The trend is the “haul video”. A haul video is a video posted online where a buyer goes through their purchases and talks about them: Maybe why they bought they, where they bought them, how much they paid, and how they feel about the purchase.
To a lot of people, this might sound pretty weird. At first glance you wonder “who would watch that?” But it makes sense after further consideration: Who among us doesn’t want to share the great purchases we found, and who among us doesn’t want to look with envy to others. It’s like shopping without the expense! And retailers should like this because haul videos are made at the perfect point: The buyer is thrilled with their purchase and looking to further justify the money they spent but have rarely even used the items and are not yet experiencing buyer’s remorse. It’s exactly the time in a purchase lifecycle when you want to get a testimonial… and that’s what a haul video is.
STRANGE BUT TRUE
Yes, it seems voyeuristic; yes, it seems like excess commercialism. But retail stores should pay attention because these videos are popular! The video below, for example, is basically a 16 minute discussion of clothes this girl bought… and it’s been viewed over 340,000 times at the time of this writing. (You don’t have to watch the whole thing… just watch the first couple of minutes to get an idea of what haul videos are all about).
This is just one of them. Mitch Joel, of Six Pixels of Separation, says that YouTube is tracking over 150,000 of these videos and 2 of the most popular contributors have a combined viewership of over 75 million views for their haul videos. Those are some significant numbers.
IF YOU RUN A RETAIL STORE…
So, what does that mean for retail stores? Here are some ideas:
- Cross-post haul videos on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Set up a YouTube channel and invite people who include your store in their haul video to post in your channel.
- Encourage your buyers to post their haul videos. Start a wall of fame where buyers can post their haul videos and send you a link that you post. (Heck, if you have some extra monitors laying around, why not loop a couple of haul videos?)
- If you have an email newsletter (you have an email newsletter, don’t you?) add a link to the haul video.
- Offer incentives for those who post haul videos: Discounts are good but I think an exclusive invitation-only evening where popular haul videographers come to your store and make on-the-spot haul videos.
- Above a rack of clothes, post a notice that says: “Reviewed by…” and list the names, screenshots, and domain names of haul videographers.
- Hold a contest for haul videographers and give away a shopping spree and a camera.
- Set up a camera in your store and invite people to create a haul video before they even leave.
To an entire group of shoppers, the haul video extends and enhances the shopping experience. To retailers, it creates a new opportunity to engage your customers and prolong their attachment to your store while generating some exciting testimonials.