Shopify Used This Video to Quickly Show How Their Product Worked in 60 Seconds

shopify product demo video
August 27, 2014
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Innovative technology products can be hard to explain. Product demo videos are a great way to show customers how a product works in an easy-to-digest format.

These type of videos are particularly useful for technology products. Since technology products are generally new and innovative, it’s often hard to explain how they work because customers can’t see what they do.

As marketers, it’s our job to ensure our customers understand what we do. If they don’t know what we do, how can we expect them to buy from us?

When Shopify, an ecommerce software solution, started ramping up their marketing in 2011, they were met with a lot of blank looks. At the time, if you wanted to set up an online store, it would have cost you thousands of dollars and you would likely had to have hired a professional.

Shopify was attempting to change the game with a disruptive new technology. Their solution was telling customers that they no longer needed to hire a professional and pay $10,000 for a website. Instead, they could set up an online store themselves in one day – for less than $50.

Sounds crazy, right?

This technology product and value proposition was hard to explain using a regular website with text. So let’s look at how Shopify used a product demo video to show customers what they did and how their product worked:

Video is not longer available online

Now do you understand?

That’s the power of using video to explain complex products – particularly technology products.
Let’s break down Shopify’s product demo video and see what steps they took to make it great.

1. Get your audience to identify with the problem you are solving

What problem does your product solve for customers?

All product demo videos should start with a focus on helping the customer identify with the problem. This is important so your customers can quickly understand if the product is going to help them or not. It sets the scene for when you provide a solution and outline the benefits later.

Shopify does this very well. The video starts with a question that potential customers can relate to, “You’ve got big ideas, cool products and passion, everything you need to create a successful online business, but how do you get started?

Getting started is the problem.

Shopify provides a solution to entrepreneurs that have ideas but don’t know how to sell online. Straight away, when you watch the video, you either relate to it or you don’t. This is a form of qualification to ensure that interested viewers continue to watch and learn more about Shopify.

What you can learn from Shopify’s video:

  1. Introduce the problem your product solves before anything else.
  2. Be clear and speak directly to your target audience. Don’t be afraid to neglect some customers – the more targeted the better.

2. Provide a solution with benefits

After introducing the problem, you have a captivated audience that is looking for a solution.  This is where you can explain how your product solves the problem and start introducing your product benefits.
For example, Shopify continues, “With Shopify, its easy,” and goes on to list three benefits that are clearly explained with graphics.

One of the benefits is “Shopify allows you to set up a snazzy online store without the high cost… no tech knowledge required.”

Here is a shot of the video using graphics to visually show the benefit:
Shopify Product Demo Video 1
The graphics in this video are powerful. Instead of telling the viewer what the benefits are, Shopify shows the viewer with simple yet clear graphics. With just one sentence and an accompanying visual, Shopify has captured the viewer’s attention and shown them exactly how they can benefit from the product and how it can help them solve their problem.

What you can learn from Shopify’s video:

  1. Show how your product solves problems by using clear copy and simple graphics.
  2. Do not talk about features – focus on the benefits.

3. Show how it works

By this step, you have an engaged viewer that wants to know how your product works. This is the most important reason for using video to explain technology products.
The trick here is to not over-complicate things. You should break how your product works up into 3-5 sections and keep each section clear and concise. Instead of telling the viewer how it works, it is essential you show them.
Shopify shows how the product works by breaking it up into four sections.

  1. Name your store
  2. Upload a product
  3. Choose a theme design and customise it
  4. Add apps to extend functionality

Super simple, right? Check out this shot of Shopify’s video showing the viewer how easy it is to upload products:
How to Sell Online Using Shopify 3
Very easy to understand – you simply upload the products and you’re good to go.

Now check out this shot that shows how simple and flexible theme selection is:
product demo video 3
Again, by using a simple graphic accompanied by a concise sentence, viewers clearly know how the product works.

What you can learn from Shopify:

  1. Break up your description of how it works into simple steps that follow a logical sequence and/or story.
  2. Graphics and visuals are a powerful way to show how something works – use them to your advantage.

4. Call to action

The last step is the most important. Your call to action (CTA) is used to tell your customer what you want them to do next. As a rule of thumb, your CTA should link back to your marketing goals.

In Shopify’s case, they want you to sign up and start using their product. Here’s a shot of their CTA:
shopify video cta
The video ends with a clear and concise message: “Visit and try today, for free.” As a viewer, if you want to take the next step with Shopify, you know exactly what to do.

What you can learn from Shopify:

  1. Your CTA needs to be simple and easy to remember – don’t over complicate it.
  2. Ensure your CTA links back to your marketing goals.

Product demo videos make it easy to show your audience how your product works

Technology products are hard to explain. You’ll have a tough time getting your audience to understand what you do by using a basic website with text. Videos help you communicate what your product does and – when used effectively with concise copy and visually appealing graphics – can show how your product works and how it can benefit your audience.

Is your audience having a tough time understanding what you do? I challenge you to use a product demo video to clearly explain your product offering better.

Your thoughts?
What did you like most about Shopify’s video? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Creativa provides complete video production and animation services for clients direct or for agencies nationwide, specialising in creating content that engages Aussie audiences. Working with local crews dotted around the country to capture live-action video footage, we manage all the coordination for you. Whatever type of video you need, we’ve got you covered.