5 Reasons Why You Should Caption Your eCommerce Videos

April 11, 2019 BY JACLYN LEDUC

Consumers love videos, and to give the people what they want, many brands in the eCommerce industry have jumped aboard the video marketing train. However, there’s still a ways to go in terms of making that video accessible.

Will your eCommerce company be the next to offer accessible videos? And what are the benefits of doing so?

Increase the power of video marketing by providing accessible videos.

First let’s talk about the growth of online video. The public’s reaction to online video has been incredibly positive. Video marketing is the most memorable type of content. It’s reported that 54% of people want to see videos from their favorite brands, 78% of people are watching online video every week, and the list goes on. The popularity of online video is evident and has contributed to its immense growth over recent years.

As powerful of a tool video marketing is on it’s own, it has even more potential when the videos are accessible. So, what makes a video accessible?

Many people are familiar with closed captions, which visually represent the audio in a video by displaying time-synchronized text across the screen as the video plays. Another less familiar accessible video feature is audio description, which describes the visual elements of a video, but that’s a discussion for another time.

In this post, we’ll focus on why eCommerce brands should make captioning their videos a priority.

Be Accessible to All

Did you know that 71% of people with disabilities leave a website immediately if it is not accessible? This same concept also applies to videos – without captions, people with disabilities may discontinue watching.

71% of people with disabilities leave a website immediately if it is not accessible.

The most important reason for captioning is that doing so makes videos accessible to those with disabilities, particularly for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Captions can also benefit people with other disabilities such as learning disabilities or neurological disorders because viewers are able to both see and hear the contents of the video simultaneously.

The number of individuals with hearing loss is significant; there are 360 million people worldwide with hearing loss. Without captions, it is challenging, if not impossible, for those with hearing loss to interact with and comprehend your videos, which is why it’s critical that eCommerce companies caption 100% of their video.

Captioning your videos ensures that you won’t miss out on engaging with the deaf and hard of hearing population, so be sure to implement accessible practices in your video marketing strategy.

Improve the User Experience

The fact that captions help make videos accessible to people with disabilities is an excellent motivator for eCommerce brands to caption their video, but captions have a few other not-so-obvious benefits, as well. In addition to accessibility, another added benefit of captions is that they improve the user experience.

Captions improve brand recall, behavioral intent, and brand awareness.

Time and again, studies have shown that captions help with focus and comprehension. For instance, a study by the University of Iowa revealed that people can recall information better after seeing and hearing it. A video itself provides auditory stimulation for your audience and captions offer visual stimulation. Perhaps that’s why captions also improve brand recall, behavioral intent, and brand awareness as shown in a research study from the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science.

If there’s one thing eCommerce companies should remember when it comes to captioning and the user experience, it’s that accurate captions matter both for UX and accessibility reasons. A video with inaccurate captions may leave viewers less than impressed, not to mention that error-ridden captions are not accessible. Caption accuracy can help to reinforce brand legitimacy since it shows that the company took the time to ensure their viewers are receiving high-quality and accessible video content.

Create Viewing Flexibility

ECommerce brands that share a fair amount of video to social media should consider both the viewing environment of their audience and the viewing experience that their audience wants.

Captions allow users to view videos in sound sensitive environments.

Internet traffic majorly consists of mobile video content, according to Cisco. Using mobile phones to watch video allows people to view in many different environments such as on public transportation, at the library and the gym, or even in the presence of a sleeping baby.

Viewers don’t appreciate when videos autoplay with sound. Therefore, social media platforms have made silent autoplay the norm, and now people often rely on captions to watch social media videos. Captions allow users to view videos in sound sensitive environments and multi-task while watching videos. If accurate captions aren’t included in an eCommerce company’s social media videos, well, viewers may just keep scrolling on to the next thing. If those captions aren’t accurate, your viewers may be viewing nonsensical – or even incorrect – information.

Go Global

The great thing about eCommerce is that it allows people from all over the world to access their favorite brands. By offering options that appeal to international audiences, it can help global consumers to feel appreciated by eCommerce companies. What better way to show that appreciation than by speaking their language?

Translations make video content available to more people around the world.

International eCommerce companies will often include language preference settings that translate website content to the visitor’s preferred language. That way a customer whose first language is Spanish can translate the web pages and browse their favorite eCommerce website with ease. This concept can also be applied to your video marketing.

Offering video captions and translations makes video content available to more people around the world. Captions help those who speak English as a second language to better absorb the video content, and translations deliver content to non-English speaking viewers in their primary language. Captions also make things easier when it comes to translating video content. Once a video has been captioned, it’s much easier to translate into other languages. You can even do so for free on YouTube, though if you’re looking to save time, you may want to consider using a third-party vendor.

Boost Video SEO

Many eCommerce sites are only-online companies; therefore, website traffic is a top priority since consumers can only interact with and buy products from their websites. Even for eCommerce sites that aren’t online only, website traffic is of great importance. Because of this, the eCommerce industry focuses much on SEO, which helps to improve the visibility of websites in search engine results.

Captions help to improve video SEO.

The concept of driving organic traffic to your site and building brand awareness through SEO can also be applied to video marketing.

Just like traditional SEO, video SEO is meant to increase the visibility of your video marketing materials and ultimately build greater brand awareness and website traffic. Search engines can’t watch a video in the same way a human can, though. Therefore bots often rank videos solely based on their titles, descriptions, and metadata. That’s not a lot of information to go off of, wouldn’t you say?

That’s where captions come in. Because captions provide a text version of your videos, search engine bots are able to read and index your videos more appropriately. With better search rankings, your audience will be able to find your videos more easily.


So, there you have it. Accessibility is critical, and it’s time that it becomes the norm across all industries. Captions first and foremost make video content accessible for those with disabilities, but now you see that they can provide tons of added value to a business.

The eCommerce industry truly has the potential to shake up the way video marketing is done, and they have the ability to do so in an accessible way.

Ready Let's do this! Make your eCommerce videos accessible today with 3Play Media.

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