10 Inspiring and Effective E-commerce Explainer Videos

Marketing in any industry is all about building awareness and understanding of a product or service. Creating awareness of a product’s full value can be especially challenging for e-commerce brands, as customers can’t physically interact with the item. These brands must use creative marketing techniques and outlets to impress consumers with the benefits of their product.

Video is becoming increasingly popular among e-commerce businesses. In fact, 97% of marketers say video has helped increase user understanding of their product or service. Through an engaging explainer video, for example, brands can demonstrate more clearly the features and value their products provide in a small amount of time. From live demonstrations to quirky, animated explainers, we’ve collected and analysed ten of the most inspiring and effective e-commerce videos.

Focus on the Difference

Explainer videos are the perfect tool for showing a product’s best features. Yet more important than showing what a product or service does is demonstrating the item’s benefit for potential customers. Focusing on the difference the product can make in their life or business can be the key to a successful video.

1. Shopify

The explainer video for Shopify spends very little time talking about what Shopify does or demonstrating how it works – but it still makes a persuasive case. Colourful animations that flow from one scene to the next compare how shopping has worked in the past to the way shopping can work with Shopify. This focus underscores the value of using Shopify to let customers make purchases from anywhere, as the service makes it possible to purchase on social media sites and even from photos.

2. Cadabbra

Much like the Shopify video above, Cadabbra’s animated explainer video puts the emphasis on what the platform does for its users. Specifically, it uses stylised, nearly-monochrome animations to highlight the ways Cadabbra is changing the process of interior design. The video shows the difference that the platform makes not only for customers but also for retailers, interior designers, and project managers with its immersive marketplace environment.

Keep it Simple and Brief

When the average attention span is just eight seconds, marketers don’t have long to get a point across, let alone be persuasive enough to sell a product. These explainer videos save time by focusing in on the most important features right away. The perfect video length varies by brand and product, but between 30 seconds to -2 minutes is generally ideal.

3. Wallprotex

Customised products and customisation services are almost always complex by nature. The Wallprotex video succinctly walks an audience of architects and designers through ordering their custom wall protection products, from the concept stage through prototype to final development. The unique chalkboard-style animations of the video reflect a blueprint aesthetic and at times even emulate the online interface for designing and ordering products from Wallprotex. Through this video format, a lengthy process is made simple and easy to understand.

4. Comr.se

The Comr.se explainer video takes just one minute to clarify the premise of what is rather technical and complicated digital service. Starting with an explanation of the problem – that current ads take customers away from the sites they enjoy – it goes on to explain how the service creates a full shopping experience within platforms like social media. Animations that continuously transform from one image to another support the narration throughout the video.

5. Norton

At just 29 seconds, Norton’s explainer video is a quick watch, but that doesn’t make it any less effective. Its charmingly colourful character animations are unique for software products as it explains why protecting your digital information is so important. While emphasising the value of digital “stuff” and potential dangers, it quickly makes a strong case for digital protection.

Let the Visuals Speak

A great voiceover can be key to a persuasive explainer video. But in some cases, it’s even more effective to let the visual elements speak for themselves. The following videos have little to no spoken text, using other video and audio elements to make the sale. This is particularly important when 85% of videos shown in places like Facebook are often viewed without sound.

6. FiftyThree’s Pencil

FiftyThree’s video for its Pencil stylus takes a unique approach to live action demonstration. Transitioning seamlessly from one shot to the next, the camera tracks the product instead of the user. The video follows the Pencil through a variety of uses, always keeping the stylus at the centre.

This fine-tuned focus on the stylus — paired with a background of ambient sounds — makes it possible for the viewer to imagine exactly how it would feel to use and create with the Pencil. The end result is a stylish explainer that demonstrates the Pencil’s natural usability and versatility, no words needed.

7. Nike

The video for Nike’s 2017 Air Max relies entirely on visual elements to make its point about the lightness and flexibility of the shoes. With images of the actual Air Max shoes interspersed, the majority of the video uses abstract motion graphics to evoke the airy design and nature movement built into the shoes. No words are needed to give customers a strong impression of how Nike’s Air Max shoes will feel to wear.

Show Some Personality

Like any other form of advertising, explainer videos need to make an impression to be successful. The majority of consumers might not be ready to purchase when they see the video – but one that shows the brand’s personality will likely be top of mind when they do make that decision.

8. My Cloud

The My Cloud demo video uses fun animations to add interest and personality to what could be a rather mundane subject – digital storage. The storyline follows an animated cyclist and mobile-device user as he collects and shares new images and videos, demonstrating the struggles of organising in the digital age.

From the video-within-a-video of a skateboarding dog to a selfie-obsessed octopus, this explainer never takes itself too seriously. Paired with bright colours, the ongoing animations highlight the many benefits of a central cloud storage solution in a way that is both eye-catching and entertaining.

9. Dollar Shave Club

Another subscription service with an unexpected but regularly needed product, Dollar Shave Club quickly caught attention in the personal care industry. Part of that is due to the unique personality of the brand, which is clearly evident in the video. The language may be a turn-off for some, but the casual tone and relatability of the introductory video is sure to win over those seeking an alternative to expensive razors.

10. Spotify

Spotify is music — and even its initial explainer video does nothing to take away from that focus. The video uses a simple animation style, a limited colour palette and a very short script to describe the service and its benefits for music enthusiasts. The animation keeps time with the music, further highlighting the brand’s dedication to audible entertainment.

Final Thoughts

An explainer video can be a powerful asset for a brand, especially for products that are unique or take a novel approach in their industry. Videos that clearly demonstrate the product’s value, stay as brief as possible, focus on effective visuals and employ an authentic style are most likely to be successful.

To get started on planning your own explainer video, be sure to download our ebook on How to Create the Perfect Explainer Videos. This “ultimate guide” will walk you through the entire process from concept and design to creating the video and distributing it where potential customers will see it. For more explainer video inspiration, you can also check out our recent roundup of more than 173 unique videos that cover a wide range of styles and industries.