Selling online, we have always had a problem showcasing our items to buyers. Photographs are just not enough: a photograph can’t show an opal’s play of color, or how a marionette moves.
Well then, hurray Etsy! Currently in prototype, Etsy is trialing videos, and if you want to be participate, just click here to join the Etsy prototype group for listing videos.
You’ll see this screen, followed by this popup.
If you haven’t been involved in any Etsy trial groups before, I’m happy to report that Etsy does these well. As indicated in the popup above, you can leave the prototype at any time. There are no prerequisites, restrictions, or requirements. You just click on the link I’ve circled in red above to join the group, and as soon as you’ve joined the new features will appear in your Etsy shop.
For the Listing Videos trial group, it means you can add videos to your listings, and you can also view videos in any group member’s shop. To be clear: the videos are not viewable by shoppers or Etsy sellers who are not in the trial, but once you have joined the prototype trial, everybody else in the trial can see your videos, and you can see theirs.
When deciding whether to invest your time, an important factor to keep in mind is that these trials are just something Etsy is testing. There’s no guarantee that they will ever go live on Etsy. For now, listing videos can only be seen by people in the prototype group – which includes some Etsy Admin folks, with whom all team members can interact and discuss the prototype.
On the other hand, in further testing Etsy might open this out to buyers at some point, and they might even feature your shop when they’re promoting this feature. On any platform, if you’re an early adopter of something new, you are more likely to get seen, and if Etsy thinks that videos are going to be a popular feature (and yes indeed, I do expect they will be quite a popular feature), then Etsy is likely to promote them. So, I’ve been encouraging my YouTube followers and Etsy U students to join the prototype.
Etsy Listing Videos: What You Need To Know To Get Started
First: one video per listing, and each video must of course be short (5-15 seconds; no sound). Etsy shoppers want just a quick take. Make it something eye-catching.
Second: you can make a video with a camera, video camera, camcorder, or you can just use your mobile phone.
Third: you don’t have to have any fancy editing software; what’s in most phones will work.
That said, if you choose to use video editing software, then there’s all sorts of clever things you could do, like text overlays. Gimp is just one open-source (free) software program that supports video editing.
This video feature is not available on the Etsy app yet, only on the PC, so if you record a video on your phone, you will have to upload it to your computer to get it into your listing. Whether you’re creating a new listing or editing an existing listing, once you’ve joined the prototype you will see a section in the listing template just under the row of photographs to upload a video:
You will just upload your video there and when you view your listing, your video shows up in the second slot of your product images display. It will play when you click on it, and it will play in a loop (like the gifs in this article), so you should consider that when you’re editing your video — how it’s going to look in a loop.
Displaying Your Item
Just a quick clip of you modeling something is perfectly acceptable:
There are so many different methods you can use for display. You could just be holding the item in your hand; someone else could be wearing it; you could shoot a selfie video wearing your hat as you are walking through a picturesque landscape. Anything that will attract and hold the viewer’s eye. In and of itself, movement is already eye-catching: our brains are wired to prioritize anything in our field of view that is in motion.
Start out by choosing items that change in some way – either as they are moved, or over time. Like a thermo sensitive sweater: touch it, take your hand away: show in real time the changing of colors. Or choose an item with a stone like opal or labradorite that has color play, or a cat’s eye stone, or one that sparkles.
When I first found out about this prototype trial, to get started I just rushed something together: all I did was clip together some of my photographs to make a moving image. Now, whenever I’m photographing new items, I just shoot a bit of video at the same time.
You can also get all sorts of different display aids fairly cheaply. I know I’ve seen little motorized turntables on eBay for taking these types of videos; even new on Amazon they are inexpensive. You put your item on the turntable, you turn it on, it slowly rotates, you hold your camera still (or even better, have it on a tripod) and your item is there, moving for people to see.
I’m actually really excited about this feature. I think it’s a lot of fun! Obviously, as a YouTuber, I’m already into videos, but I think this feature is accessible to all. At the time of this writing, there were 42,874 Etsy sellers and 12 Etsy leaders in the prototype group. There is still time to give you a little edge over others who wait until it’s rolled out across the site. And by the way, folks are reporting that Pinterest loves these videos: bonus!
HOT OFF THE PRESSES! Just as we were about to publish this blog, Etsy announced today (July 7th, 2020) that Listing videos will now be rolling out for some buyers to view! This could be a great opportunity to see if videos really do help increase conversion to sales. If you’ve been thinking about adding videos to your Etsy listings, now is a great time to start recording your very own listing videos! Good luck!