Video is a great way to capture a user’s attention. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video has to be worth a lot more. But you shouldn’t just play videos willy-nilly. There has to be some rhyme and reason or you risk losing your customers.
92% of users find autoplay videos annoying and 76% immediately scramble to mute the sound. This is not surprising. Nobody likes sudden loud noises. They’re distracting, annoying, and feel like a gross violation. Video may grab users’ attention but the sudden sound will have them cursing you.
Even the likes of YouTube and Facebook have the sense to mute audio by default on their apps. Videos play when you scroll past them but only after you tap “unmute.” And these are video-focused platforms. No one goes to YouTube to read.
Watching videos isn’t the primary purpose for people visiting your site. As such, all audio should be muted by default.
Video can nuke your load time
Video will increase your loading time. A 30-second HD video has a file size of around 50MB. 50MB is approximately the file size occupied by 50 million characters—5 million words—if you assume every word has an average length of six letters and make an allowance for spaces and punctuation marks. This is a lot considering all seven books of the Harry Potter series have a word count of just over a million.
For a user with a slower internet connection, loading a video will slow down overall page load time and ruin the user experience. A video-heavy page will also blitz through the data plan of people visiting with mobile devices.
An app like YouTube mitigates this by adjusting a video’s resolution based on the speed of a user’s internet connection but you may not have this advantage. All YouTube engineers do is optimize its video delivery so you can never hope to be as good as they are.
A video may distract from the primary CTA
This is pretty self-explanatory. What do you want your visitors to do? Shop or watch a video? The video player window takes up a significant portion of screen real estate which means that any other buttons and CTAs will be overshadowed.
Avoid video unless you really have to
A video on the product page showing a user how to use a product is fine. But videos on other pages are harder to justify. Examine if you really need a video in the first place. If you decide you do, make it click-to-play rather than autoplay. If you have to autoplay it, mute the audio by default and incorporate an easy-to-spot unmute button for customers who want to watch it.