Having an online store that only showcases images is like having a mall that only allows customers to window shop. It’s unenticing, unconvincing, and more likely to conclude in the shopper passing up your product. Consumers like to see products up close before they buy.

And this is exactly what videos do for the web — it enables consumers to get a closer glimpse of your product virtually without the ability to walk into a brick and mortar store. Plus, it increases the chances of them converting.

We find that 58% of shoppers trust an ecommerce business that uses product videos. So it’s no surprise that 73% more visitors that watch product videos make a purchase. 

Why? Well, if you ask 71% of consumers — videos do a swell job of explaining products. 

But what if the consumer doesn’t understand the language spoken in the video? Or is deaf or hard of hearing? Then your video becomes obsolete. 

The way around this? Video captions and transcripts. Let’s take a closer look.

How Can Video Captions & Transcripts Improve Ecommerce Sales?

Video captions and transcripts can increase online sales on your ecommerce website by making your videos accessible and engaging. Those who are hearing impaired or prefer watching muted videos are more likely to view your video. Plus, if you create multilingual captions, you can attract international customers.

Here’s an overview of the top benefits.

1. Attract Hearing Impaired Customers

Did you know that there are a whopping 466 million people across the world who are either deaf or hard-of-hearing? And as you’d imagine, many of them are buying and selling online. 

This is what makes accessibility a necessity. To attract these shoppers, you need video captions. 

Guess what happens if you ignore this?

Seventy-one percent of disabled people admit to leaving a page that isn’t accessible. So you risk losing a ton of prospective customers at the gate.

With video captions, you can ensure these individuals understand your product and can make an informed purchasing decision.

2. Increase International Sales For Online Retailers

English is the first language of only 360 million people (out of 7 billion). 

This means there are billions of other people who don’t speak your language who may be interested in your product. By adding video subtitles in different languages, you can break down the barrier and sell more goods. 

Let’s put this in perspective. 

More than 70% of YouTube viewers are outside of the U.S.  

If you’re an American seller with only English-speaking videos, then you’re only connecting with 30% of the prospective customers you could be reaching. 

If you want to capitalize on the international market, then you can do the following:

  • Translate all of your video descriptions and titles
  • Translate your playlist metadata and titles
  • Translate the description for your channel
  • Reply to viewers in their language (using Google Translator, etc.)

Translation of your captions and subtitles can also boost your SEO. Each caption and transcript translation you create is indexed. This increases the chances of your product videos being found by international audiences.

There are hundreds of languages spoken across the world, but only eight countries are the most prominent on YouTube (outside of the U.S. and Canada):

  • India
  • Germany
  • South Korea
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • France
  • Brazil
  • Russia

So consider making these priority languages to translate to.

3. Engage Audiences that Mute Videos

People tend to shop when they’re bored or have free time. Unfortunately, they’re not always in a situation where they can listen to a product video (i.e., at work, in the library, or another public setting). 

Imagine all the potential customers you’re missing out on when you refrain from using video captions. Roughly 85% of Facebook videos are on mute when watched. Then on Snapchat, 1/3 of videos are played on mute.

This is a trend you have to respect. If you want more eyes on your videos, then you need to make your videos understandable using video subtitles. 

Plus, evidence shows that 91% of viewers are more engaged with captioned videos (compared to 66% for caption-less videos). 

AdEspresso did an experiment on Facebook that shows ads with subtitled videos outperformed those without captions by 3.1%

Instapage saw similar results in their investigation. The outcomes were:

  • 5% longer view times
  • 3% more viewers
  • 16% higher reach
  • 17% more reactions (engagement)
  • 15% more shares
  • 26% more CTA clicks

4. Get Ranked Using Video Subtitles

Publishing your product videos on social media is great. But without ranking for SEO, you’re leaving money on the table. 

Search engine optimization relies on text and keywords to index and rank content. Since search engine bots don’t understand audio, this makes it difficult to get a high ranking for your videos. 

The solution?

Adding transcripts to your online video marketing strategy. Place these in your description to enhance accessibility, as well as SEO power. 

If you have a keyword strategy (we hope you do), you can implement these phrases throughout your video script. This will optimize your transcript and improve rankings for your video.

In turn, you can see an increase in incoming search traffic.

5. Grow Your ROI Potential

Perhaps the top reason behind captioning product videos is the potential to increase ROI. Since you’re reaching broader audiences, improving accessibility, and increasing engagement, it only makes sense that your sales will eventually grow.

How does this translate into ROI?

Well, it’s difficult to predict the potential return on investment you’ll receive for video captioning. However, when you look at the potential views you’ll receive from a wider audience of multilingual (and hard-of-hearing) people, the numbers soar. 

And get this — you’re achieving this without the need to produce multiple videos (or narrations). Rather than creating a video in every language, you can easily upload multiple caption files to one video. 

So you’re saving money, all the while amplifying your earning potential. 

Plus, using video subtitles and transcripts together can maximize your growth. For instance, if you’re publishing ads for your products, then you can create multilingual campaigns with video captions. 

Develop segments for each language to keep an eye on your conversions. You can do the same for the videos you upload to your:

  • Social media feeds
  • Instagram Stories
  • Email marketing campaigns
  • GIFs
  • Press releases

And other creatives you may use in your marketing strategy. 

3 Examples of Video Captions in Product Videos

Did you know there are key differences between closed captions, open captions, and subtitles? Make sure you’re using the right one. 

Next, let’s review several real-world examples of video subtitles and captions. 

First up, we have Carbon Energy. They did an introductory video for their keyseam UCG (underground coal glassification) technology. Hi-tech stuff and all the more reason to include it in foreign languages. 

Their translation of choice was for the Chinese population. Likely, one of their top customers (outside of English speakers).

Then, of course, Apple — possibly, the most-loved gadget company on the block — uses closed captions. But this time around, it’s geared towards the hard-of-hearing. 

This is an excellent illustration of the difference between CC and subtitles — closed captions include audible cues (whirring, music playing, etc.), as it does in this product demo. 

It’s clear they uploaded a file because the text includes the name of the speaker and looks cleaner than YouTube’s auto-generating CC. 

SelectBlinds takes it a step further by providing a transcript for their video. And as we mentioned earlier, this aids with SEO and catering to those who prefer to read or have hearing issues. 

You can do the same across all channels, including Shopify, Amazon, Etsy, and anywhere else you sell online goods. 

Let’s see how it’s done.

Adding Subtitles to Your Online Shopping Experience

Now for the fun part — implementing video captions so you can reap the same benefits. Just about every platform allows you to set up videos, which you can subtitle yourself or use auto-captioning. 

The downside to automated captions is that it can misinterpret what the speaker says. This can make the content incomprehensible. Just make sure to proofread the text before publishing it. 

Adding Video Captions in Facebook

If you’re planning to use Facebook, then you can use these tips:

  • Go to Ads Manager
  • Hit + Create
  • Select the objective and hit continue
  • Select your budget, targeting, and placements — hit continue
  • Select Single Video in the Formats section
  • Hit Upload Video or Browse Libary and find it on your computer
  • Then select Upload Your Own in the Video Captions area
  • Hit Select file (look for .srt) to upload
  • Now hit save and you’re all set!

Adding Video Subtitles in Amazon

On Amazon, there’s a free mini-course you can take to learn all about video captions. They have a specific way of doing things, so you’ll need to get it right, so they don’t pull down your videos.

Spoiler alert — you have to use your YouTube account to upload videos with closed captions. So you can use the next section to do that. 

Adding Video Captions in YouTube

YouTube simplifies the process with a quick guide. Here’s a look at the steps:

  • Click Video Manager (account > Creator Studio > Video Manager > Videos
  • Select drop-down menu next to the edit button on the video you’re captioning (or subtitling) 
  • Click Subtitles/CC
  • Select Add new subtitles or CC button
  • Pick whether you’re going to add or edit the CC or subtitles

Check out the guide to learn how to create closed captions, upload files, and transcribe videos. 

Adding Subtitles to Videos On Other Platforms

Shopify is the only one you have to upload your own captioned video for. Of course, you can do the same for all the platforms. Simply caption your video once and upload them everywhere. 

But what if you don’t want to do it yourself? Then you can always use the captioning and transcription services available at Rev. We also offer translation services to help target overseas customers. 

Whichever way you decide to go, be sure to upload quality captions and transcriptions to your product videos. They’re the key to attracting more prospects and increasing your ROI!

Subtitles and Captions Increase ROI For Your Ecommerce Videos

If you’re not currently captioning all of your product videos, then you’re falling behind the competition. Plus, you’re missing out on increased views, engagement, and potential sales. 

Not to mention, you’re completely ignoring non-English-speaking and hard-of-hearing viewers (aka billions of prospective customers). 

If you’re ready to reap the rewards video subtitles and transcripts can offer, then we invite you to reach out to Rev. 

Our experts can help you with transcribing videos and uploading captions files to all your ecommerce videos across all platforms. 

Contact us today to get started!

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