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Amazon works with merchants to include videos to keep them on site

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Published: October 29, 2017, 6:00am

Amazon.com Inc. wants to prevent holiday shoppers from straying to Google’s YouTube and Facebook Inc.’s social media sites in search of product videos, so the e-commerce giant is working with merchants to match the effort on its website.

Pet supplies, baby products, housewares and electronics are the focus of the new push for promotional and instructional videos. Amazon this year began inviting some of its 2 million merchant partners to join a test program in which the online retailer coordinates these short product videos. The plan is to post many of them to the site by mid-December, when the holiday shopping season is in full swing, according to documents reviewed by Bloomberg.

“You can move hearts and minds with video in ways you just can’t with text and standard display,” said Jason Kint, chief executive officer of Digital Content Next, a trade association formerly called the Online Publishers Association.

Amazon relies mostly on written descriptions of products, photos and reviews from shoppers to boost customers’ confidence in its wares. But the site largely lacks videos similar to television commercials or consumer reviews and how-to’s posted on YouTube and social media platforms. Amazon is offering merchants a discounted cost for 30-second video ads to encourage participation in the feature added to its Enhanced Brand Content program, the documents show.

The test is part of a broader effort to get more promotional videos on the site. Bose Corp. is one of the prominent brands that now has videos on Amazon, through a “premium” page program that costs $500,000, Advertising Age reported recently.

The Enhanced Brand Content video pilot program seeks content from smaller merchants in a wider range of categories that lack big marketing budgets. Some videos posted through the program include a demonstration of Coffee Gator’s French press coffee maker and a “how to wash your face” video posted beneath a facial cleanser.

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