Like Vitaman’s Nikki, American Eagle Outfitters is giving a "human" touch to its merchandising. AE has snagged video-blogging vixen iJustine as a spokeswoman for its Spring Break events in Cancun. And you can find her ooh-ing and aah-ing products within an interactive Spring Break packing guide (now offline).
Unlike Nikki, iJustine gushes about goodies for both girls and guys when you rollover certain items.
But like the Vitaman valet, she is very enthusiastic in romancing the products:
Guys, trust me. Throw on a polo and a smile and you’ll have every girl’s attention. They’re so great looking and so easy to wear with anything. If you don’t pack some polos, you might as well stay home.
Whether having a human describe products is something customers want to see - I don't know. Perhaps for high school / college types who'd rather watch the movie than read the book - watching a product description is preferred?
But really, this concept isn't new. We have the choice to read the newspaper, or watch an attractive anchor read it to us. Why wouldn't that also apply to ecommerce?
Video is Here to Stay
It certainly takes a lot of time and money to build interactive Flash-based applications. But if you don't want to go that route, you can still add a human element by adding video content to product pages, like Tiger Direct:
This video sold me on this camcorder, which I purchased immediately along with a bunch of accessories. I found Arno to be knowledgeable, friendly and humorous. Plus this video actually showed me how close you can zoom in with this camera - try describing that with text! With absolutely no background knowledge of camcorders, it really helped to have a virtual salesperson to turn to. Plus it's nice to refer to the demo to learn how to use the camera when I get it rather than relying on the package black and white insert.
I expect to see a lot more video merchandising (with real people) popping up in the future.