Online videos have become the recurring gateway for companies to sell products in the world in which they now operate. Consumers spend more and more time on the internet and watch more and more videos online, which has led marketers to invest more resources in this type of content and in positioning them before their audiences. At the same time, the last few months have led to the emergence of other types of formats.

The livestreaming, a kind of teletienda of the XXI century, has become increasingly more popular. As consumers were trapped at home by coronavirus protocols and as companies needed to keep reaching out to them, they began experimenting with new formats. One of them has been to broadcast live and streaming content related to sales. It was a kind of shopping live and via videos.

China was the first market in which it gained momentum, but now the idea is already well established in the United States market and from there it will reach many other spaces. All this is making, in one way or another, videos become much more important and valuable to sell all kinds of products and services. Marketers have to position themselves and they have to launch their products, they have to make the images sell what they are trying to convey.

Videos – and their protagonists – become not only prescribers, but also at the point of sale. Your consumer does not go to your store, but to your online and live video. How should things be done to increase conversion? Transferring what was done at the point of sale directly to online video does not work.

The environment is different, the codes are different, and how consumers respond to things also changes. Marketers need to adjust their strategy and rethink what works – or doesn’t – in this new setting. And what doesn’t work is smiles, as a study published in the Journal of Marketing has just shown .

Maybe in a store that they smile at you makes you feel more comfortable. It won’t in the online video universe. Researchers have shown that smiles or positive emotion displays in shopping livestreams make the product less likely to be purchased.

This is how smiles are received
The researchers analyzed 99,451 livestream sales processes and matched them with actual sales data for those products. In addition, they used a facial detection system and an emotion classification model to determine what the protagonists of that video were doing. Thus they classified the emotions and detected which ones were in each video. The end result is that emotions do not sell in this type of content.

Hopefully, when the person starring in the video conveys negative emotions, such as anger or disgust, sales don’t respond. Sales volume plummets, according to researchers. But positive emotions are not a source of success either: when the dominant emotion is happiness or surprise, sales also plummet. A smile does not increase conversion, quite the contrary.

The reasons for this rejection
Why? Researchers point to a theory. They believe that consumers connect those smiles with the inauthentic. They look like fake smiles. This type of smile reduces confidence in the seller and, therefore, weighs on the sale. But, in addition, excessive happiness, they point out, can be read in a negative way: the consumer may feel that they are so happy because they are going to take advantage of the consumer, they are going to make money with them.

Perhaps, we add, to all this we must add that consumers on the Internet tend to operate with a somewhat higher threshold of distrust. You don’t see the product and you’re more afraid of being ripped off. Returning to what the researchers have concluded, they point out that sellers must do a job of reconversion. In the physical world, salespeople are asked to smile. That doesn’t work on the internet. Here you have to sell with a neutral, formal face.

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