The 6-Step Process

Step 2: Storyboard


Deciding your shot sequence is easy. Once you have a general idea of what shots best help customers, choosing shots can be done at the shoot on the fly. Biveo recommends that your shots simulate a buying experience to help the customers envision what it would be like to do business with you. Here are our best ideas to build off of.


Retail Stores

Part A: Marketing Research Findings
Review What Customers Want in a Retail Store Video

Average Preferred Maximum Time Limit: 60 seconds

Owner Narration: 23% want to hear from the owner/manager; 43% are indifferent; 34% do not want narration in the video.

Industry Overview: 63% of all consumers say they would watch a video before choosing a specialty retail store when seeking one.

Things that Improve Customer Interest:

  1. Good prices, clear prices/price ranges, upcoming sales, giveaways, clearance (comparison price provided)
  2. If they sell what I am looking for
  3. Video shows the products (most popular or tour of all departments)
  4. Video provides desired information (product details, why the products are a good value, how their store is different, warranty, events, hours, stock)
  5. Store is clean, organized, professional-looking
  6. Video is clear/concise/well-presented/not too long
  7. Welcoming, friendly, sincere, honest, narrative from representative/staff
  8. Calm narrative or calm feel to video
  9. Seeing a product that sparks new interest
  10. Good/safe neighborhood

Things that Scare Customers Away:

  1. High prices (no sale going on)
  2. Pushy, aggressive, exaggerated sales message, too much plugging store name
  3. Cheesy skit/gimmicky/corny/stale humor
  4. Loud and obnoxious (garish colors; annoying or loud music)
  5. Fails to be clear and concise, too long, does not add up
  6. Poor production quality (resolution, audio, shot composition, concept - low effort)
  7. Fails to be authentic, honest, trying too hard (overhyped, appears scripted or too showy, having a "professional's" opinion stated when it's just an actor)
  8. Shabby appearance of store (dirty, cluttered, unorganized, industrial)
  9. If the product line does not match my preference
  10. Fails to provide useful information

See full survey results list of 61 things customers want in a retail store video

Part B: Storyboard*
*Custom retail store storyboard coming soon. For now, reference the following general storyboard.

1. Establishing Shot: The purpose of an establishing shot is to show the viewer where they are. This requires a wide shot/long shot as opposed to medium or close-up. Providing customers with a big-picture, bird's-eye-view of the business from a distance will help them visualize being able to recognize the location when driving to it. (Narration begins in background)

Storefront/Office Businesses

Open with two four-second shots of the building, one from a distance to help customers identify the building in its surroundings, and one of the building itself. Try to avoid having anything distracting in the foreground of your shot such as a car. Avoid opening with a graphic logo unless it is on top of authentic B-roll footage. Another option is to slow zoom in or out for about 8 seconds. Consider including a shot of the parking lot to help people visualize the ease of doing business with you.

On site Businesses

The most common shot length is four seconds. If your business primarily makes service calls, open with the company vehicle arriving at a job site from the perspective of the customer's home. This will help customers visualize doing business with you.

2. Virtual Visit: Show the customer what they would see if they were visiting. If your business sells ambiance or a fun experience such as a restuarant, include close up shots. If your business does not, such as a plumber, avoid using close ups. Wide shots provide information, close ups build a feeling. The shot sequence for a restautant may look something like this, "wide shot, medium shot, close up, close up, medium shot, wide shot." A shot sequence for a plumber may look something like this, "wide shot, wide shot, medium shot, wide shot, medium shot." Make your video about what you can do for the customer. For some business types it can be beneficial to tell your story, if this is you, only tell it to the extent that it communicates what you can do for the customer. Avoid the temptation to make your message self-congratulatory.

Storefront/Office Businesses

Show what the customer would see if they were walking in the door. If it is a large open area, take a slow pan of their initial view. If the view is limited, take a still, or short slow pan of what they would see.

On site Businesses

Show the crew setting up and going to work.

Storefront/Office Businesses

Continue to take the viewer on a tour of the business with mostly stills, but including pans, zooms or rolling on a track where it is useful.

On site Businesses

Continue showing the crew working on varying tasks.

3. Cut to the Narrator. The narrator has been speaking in the background until now.

All Business Types

In editing, we suggest cutting to the narrator for the first time around the 20 second mark for 1-minute vidoes, or 16 seconds for a 40-second video. B-roll shots of the building, vehicles, equipment and staff take a higher priority than showing the person speaking.

4. Business in Action. Shots that fill the next 20 seconds (for a 1-minute video)

All Business Types

Resume with shots of the business in action, features, samples, or before-and-afters that will often line up with what the narrator is talking about. Try to choose B-roll shots that relieve the most customer pain, or demonstrate the highest level of difficulty. For example, a cleaning service should be shown scouring a bathtub or sanitizing the inside of a refrigerator as opposed to dusting a fireplace mantle.

Businesses that Sell Ambiance

Businesses that sell ambiance such as restaurants, bars, spas, theaters should incorporate more closeups and camera effects such as slow motion, shorter scenes and blurred transitions using the aperture setting on a DSLR camera. They should be more entertaining and include background music.

Examples of building ambiance for restaurants:

  • Close ups of beer tap, decor or food
  • Rolling closeups of wines or decor
  • Slow-motion shots of drinks or dessert toppings being poured
  • Shifting the focus from background to forground or vice versa (Requires a DSLR or Hybrid camcorder with manual aperture)
  • A flurry of short frames around one second each
  • Shots of smiling staff or customers laughing, smiling, toasting

5. Return to the Narrator.

All Business Types

We suggest cutting to the narrator for the second time around the 40 second mark if it is a 1-minute video.

6. Business in Action: Shots that fill the next 20 seconds

All Business Types

Continue with your action shots of the business. Repeat these last 2 steps, aiming to keep your video between 1 and 2 minutes.

7. Concluding the Video.

All Business Types

End with a shot of the building while slowly zooming out, and/or group shot of the staff in front of the vehicles, or similar final shot. If you want your logo in the video, place it on top of action shots rather than a solid color or animated screen.

Make sure to review the tips in Step 4, the "Shoot", before filming.

Step 2: Storyboard