Captioning and Transcription for the eCommerce Industry

March 29, 2019 BY JACLYN LEDUC
Updated: June 16, 2021


The eCommerce industry is booming, and video marketing is growing more relevant every day. Consumers love videos, so much so that 54% indicated they want to see videos from their favorite brands. Video marketing has the potential to leave a lasting impression on your audience, and according to HubSpot, branded video content is the most memorable for consumers.

But what if we told you that there’s a way to make your video marketing even more powerful?

Accessible videos are an excellent way for eCommerce sites to reach a broader audience and to improve user engagement. Not only do captions make videos more accessible, but they can also improve brand recall, behavioral intent, and brand awareness. In this post, we’ll discuss the primary factors motivating eCommerce sites to caption, common challenges brands face, and which features to look for in a captioning vendor.


Captioning 101: A Beginner’s Guide ✨


Why should eCommerce sites be captioning?

Video marketing is a powerful tool in its own right, but it comes with even more potential when videos are accessible to all viewers. Let’s take a look at the top 5 reasons to caption eCommerce content:


71% of users leave a website immediately if it's not accessible

Did you know over 5% of the world’s population has hearing loss of some kind? This means more than 360 million people rely on captions to watch video content, and this potential audience becomes a lost opportunity when video content is inaccessible. 71% of people with disabilities report they will leave a website immediately if it’s not accessible, and this same concept applies to video content – without captions, people with disabilities may discontinue watching.

People with hearing loss are consumers, too, and they want to support brands that recognize their legitimacy as people and customers. But the deaf and hard of hearing communities are not the only ones who benefit from captions – the ability to see and hear video content simultaneously is helpful to people with learning disabilities, neurological disorders, and more. Captions ensure that you won’t miss out on engaging with any of these communities, and implementing accessible practices is always a good video marketing strategy.

Boost video SEO

More and more eCommerce sites are captioning & transcribing their video content for accessibility, but there are plenty of marketing benefits that come along with captions – like boosting search engine optimization (SEO) and increasing site traffic.

Captions help improve video SEO & ranking

Many eCommerce sites are online-only companies; therefore, site 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, web traffic is of great importance for increasing brand awareness.

Because of this, the eCommerce industry focuses on SEO to improve the visibility of websites by increasing their ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). This traditional SEO strategy can be similarly applied to video SEO, which increases the visibility of video marketing materials with the goal of increasing brand awareness and site traffic. Search engines can’t watch video the same way humans do, though, and that’s where captioning and transcription come in – search engine bots can “watch” a video by reading & indexing the captions or transcript, which gives them more information on what your content is about & leads to higher rankings on results pages.

Improve user experience

User experience is another factor that significantly impacts SEO and SERP ranking. While captions primarily help make videos accessible to those with disabilities, it’s important that captions are accurate. A video with inaccurate captions may leave viewers less than impressed, not to mention that error-ridden captions are definitely not accessible. Inaccurate captions can create a negative viewing experience for your users, and possible even get your video marked as spam.

Studies have also repeatedly shown that captions can improve audience focus and comprehension, such as the University of Iowa finding that people can recall information better after seeing and hearing it. When viewers can engage more actively with video content, it not only improves the user experience, but it can also improve your brand recall, behavioral intent, and brand awareness.

Captions improve brand recall, behavioral intent, and brand awareness

However, eCommerce brands that share a lot of video to social media should consider their audience’s viewing environment and experience. A large portion of Internet traffic consists of video content, and the use of mobile phones means viewers can watch video in a variety of environments that may be sound-sensitive (like on public transportation, at the library, or even at home with a sleeping baby). Because of this, viewers do not appreciate when videos autoplay with sound – as a result, social media platforms have made silent auto-play the norm & typically include captions. Closed captions give viewers more flexibility to watch video content no matter their surrounding, and allows the option of multi-tasking while watching video.

Global audiences

eCommerce allows people from all over the world to access their favorite brands from anywhere. By offering options that appeal to international audiences, it helps global consumers 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 across the globe

International eCommerce companies will often include language preference settings that translate website content to the visitor’s preferred language. With this setting, a customer whose first language is Spanish can translate the web pages and browse their favorite eCommerce website with ease in a way that is more familiar to them – this concept can also be applied to 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, but if you’re looking to save time you may want to consider using a third-party vendor.


 Learn more about video marketing for SEO 📲 


What challenges do eCommerce sites face?

Once eCommerce companies decide to caption and transcribe their video content, they may run into some unexpected, or possibly expected challenges. Consider the following common hurdles for eCommerce, and be sure to look for captioning solutions that directly address your greatest challenges.


Finding the right captioning workflow is essential, but it can be challenging to find a solution that works with each eCommerce site’s specific publishing needs. Every site is different: videos are hosted on different online video platforms, are sometimes managed by multiple users, and are often organized in various ways. Though it may be a challenge to find a solution that can help create an efficient captioning process, some vendors will work with eCommerce brands to make captioning simple.


The cost of captioning and transcription ranges from vendor to vendor, but it can be difficult for eCommerce sites to find a solution that is both cost-friendly and high-quality. Too often, options with lower prices just don’t have the level of accuracy that eCommerce brands want. On the other hand, while caption quality should be a main priority, staying within budget is crucial, too. eCommerce companies are looking for the “Goldilocks” of captioning vendors: the price and quality must be just right.

What can we do for you?

White question mark in pink bubble

Perhaps you’re a part of an eCommerce company that’s looking to make its videos accessible. As a brand who cares about accessibility, wants to improve SEO and build brand awareness, and who wants to do so with cost-friendly and simple captioning and transcription solutions, what are your options?

3Play Media offers features that are just right for eCommerce sites. We address many of the needs expressed by companies in the eCommerce landscape.


Ready to streamline the captioning workflow? We provide integrations with a variety of video platforms which offer a seamless captioning experience. With one-click solutions for most major video platforms, you can completely automate your captioning workflow. Learn more about our available integrations.

Competitive pricing

We believe that it shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg for accurate captions. With 3Play, eCommerce companies can be assured that they’re getting a great price and a great product. How do we stay in the “Goldilocks” zone of cost and quality? Our advanced technology allows us to offer competitive prices, while our quality-assurance measures ensure that our caption quality is the best.

SEO Embed

As mentioned previously, search engines can’t actually watch a video. That’s why 3Play Media created an SEO Embed plugin to boost video SEO and to drive more traffic to your videos. This feature will assist those eCommerce sites that host videos on their own web pages or on an online video platform. The goal of this feature is to present the video and its metadata as a single object and to help search engines correctly index videos on your site.


The great thing about eCommerce is that their products are often available internationally, and both captions and transcripts can make eCommerce videos more accessible to an international audience via translation. 3Play Media offers translation for many different languages. Our translation services are seamlessly integrated with our captioning and transcription services, making it a breeze to translate your videos to almost any language.


3Play makes it a priority to provide our customers with top-notch captions and transcripts. In fact, we guarantee at least 99% accuracy, and we have a measured accuracy rate of 99.6%. With the level of accuracy we provide, eCommerce videos won’t be marked as “spam” by search engines. We also ensure that all caption and transcript files are ADA compliant.

Looking to learn more?

Get started: make your eCommerce videos accessible today with 3Play Media

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