Despite the travel restrictions in place, Takeoff Partners portfolio company Videoly has taken on the task of seeking growth in North America. It is working, and now the startup is opening an office in Toronto to take things to the next level.
Our portfolio company Videoly allows online stores to easily add relevant videos to every product page. Videoly, the brainchild of Russian search expert Sergey Andryukhin, was founded in Finland in 2014 and has already successfully expanded internationally.
Videoly finds video content, curates it, and enables webstores to easily embed the right video content on the right product page. Videoly makes thousands of product videos of all kinds available, from unboxing videos, to reviews, to demonstrations of the product in action, Videoly’s professional curation ensures that a suitable video is available for every product in every store.
In 2016 Sergey was joined by co-founder Nora Huovila who set about increasing sales and marketing Videoly. As the company expanded it became clear that Videoly truly works, both in terms of increasing sales and improving user experience.
Videoly increases sales and improves user experience
One thing is clear, Videoly works as intended; increasing sales in those webstores that implement it. As an example, the Nordic electronics retailer Power found that after implementing Videoly into their webstore their desktop conversion rate increased by 13 %, and their mobile conversion rate by a massive 15 %.
There are a number of reasons why video is such an effective way of increasing sales.
First, humans are visual creatures, hardwired to pay attention to images, even more so when they are moving (perhaps this is a relic of our hunter-gatherer days, when noticing something moving close by could be a matter of life and death).
Second, videos help to replace the ability to pick up and touch a product that we have when in physical stores. While online shopping is fast and convenient, it can sometimes be a rather sterile experience, and this is something good quality video content can help to rectify.
Third, as advertisers have known for years, no media triggers our emotions the way video does, and decision making is heavily linked with our emotions. While we like to think we are rational beings, we can’t make any decision without our emotions. Video can touch us emotionally, and make decision making easier.
Fast international expansion – the plan from the start
Ignoring the conventional business advice to initially focus on one market Videoly had an international outlook from the beginning. This was partly because they realized that after initial growth sales could quickly plateau in Finland’s small market and partly because of Chief Customers Officer Paula Poukka’s passion for working in the other Nordic countries, and her ability to sell to Sweden in Swedish.
With Nora focusing on sales in Finland Videoly was quickly adopted by household names such as Stockmann, K-Rauta, and Yliopiston Apteekki. Uptake outside of Finland was slower but not significantly so. In 2018 sales in Nordic countries eclipsed those in Finland, and big Nordic names such as Power and XXL had implemented Videoly in their online stores. Videoly’s international from the beginning approach meant that it took just four years for international sales to eclipse domestic sales. This also puts Videoly in an excellent position to grow even faster over the coming years.
Big plans for the future
There are two major potential growth areas for Videoly. Firstly, with their current focus on English language videos there are clearly some big markets out there that are yet to be conquered. Expansion to the UK, the Netherlands, and eventually to the USA would provide Videoly with a virtually limitless pool of potential new customers.
Secondly, Videoly will look to expand and improve its partnership programme. A number of partnerships with Nordic companies that provide web store services already exist, allowing customers to start using Videoly right from the moment when they first create their store. There are many more potential partners all over the world, and integration with them may be key to Videoly scaling at an unprecedented pace.