At a time when telecommuting is becoming increasingly popular, the interest in video conferencing is growing. Thanks to different online apps or downloadable tools and services, it’s possible to share group video calls through your iPhone, smartphone, computer, or tablet.
The video calling service is also very useful for ecommerce entrepreneurs. Thanks to it, merchants can chat and exchange with their customers remotely, organize business meetings, or even close sales.
These online calls have become an indispensable service in business. To be able to connect online, the apps are becoming more and more advanced. You will certainly find your favorite free solution among them!
Are you interested in this kind of app, and even more so, free tools? Here are some of the best video conferencing software options that could be useful to support your business.
Why use video conferencing software?
Provided that you have a good internet network, video conferencing has become a reliable practice that allows you to exchange with other people through interposed equipment, sharing ideas while being able to view each other via a camera.
Video has made it possible to replace physical appointments, and calls are now included in meetings. Due to the availability of these tools, discussion groups can even be found in all four corners of the world.
With it, distances are erased and dialogue becomes easier. Web-based or downloadable video conferencing software can be used in different contexts.
For your business meetings
Whether you have a company with several employees or you are autonomous, video conferencing can be used to host meetings, a solution to advance your business without losing time thanks to your mobile or computer screen.
Even if you work alone, you’re likely surrounded by different partners, whether your suppliers or your delivery carriers... Because it’s not always easy to gather everyone in the same place, a whole group of participants is included, no matter how far away they are.
Imagine: you need to know what the fairest price is for your products, but your suppliers, your advisors, are hundreds of miles away. Prices are then negotiated without delay, due to the speed of a remote meeting. And here are your new prices, set and ready to be updated on your site, thanks to a video conferencing solution and your connected screen!
With the help of the internet, a webcam, the device included as users’ connected devices, and a microphone, all participants in the video conference can chat about different subjects and discuss a multitude of topics. Thanks to it, there’s no need to move to a specific place, which will be a real time saver!
To conclude a sale
When it comes to ecommerce, the distance with customers can be a significant obstacle. Some customers don’t dare to buy on the web because they feel the need to have a real exchange with the advisor. They will need to be reassured in order to finalize their purchase.
In this sense, video calls can be very useful for your business’s conversion. With it, the distance barrier is broken with the customer, and it’s a bit like if you were actually present at their side, in a traditional store, to guide them. Video conferencing can therefore be a real marketing lever to increase your revenue!
In addition, for official acts such as in real estate, video calls allow you to conclude sales through an interposed screen. IPhone, computer, tablet, mobile: the screen is a powerful sales tool!
To offer tutorials or private meetings with your VIP customers
To build customer loyalty, additional services are always welcome! Video conferencing can be used to organize presentations, such as live tutorials, in which you will be able to present your new products or to explain the use of a feature or installation of some of your items during the call.
Similarly, if you usually have private meetings with your best customers, video conferencing can save you time. With it, there’s no need to travel and lose a ton of time on the road. And the solution is free!
All you have to do is turn on your iPhone or computer to communicate with your preferred client. In fact, it’s even possible to organize more frequent appointments with them, which is a factor that can help boost their loyalty further. Depending on your chosen video conferencing platform, you might also be able to avail of a recording feature, allowing you to provide the client with a recorded version of your meeting that they can refer to again if needed.
To make live sales
You couldn’t miss it: infomercials are particularly widespread on television! It’s a very effective sales process. Staging a product is an excellent technique to present it, convince customers, and close sales.
What if you used video conferencing to do exactly the same thing: live shopping? For example, you could invite your customers to a video conference to chat about a new product and/or service, just like a teleshopping show.
Unlike a pre-recorded video, a video conference allows your customers to exchange with you and ask any questions they may have in real time. With the help of this feature, create a real interaction and make it a strength!
To organize events
Finally, there are nowadays particularly powerful video conferencing software programs that allow you to invite many people simultaneously. Online events are even organized through this medium. Some people deliver master classes or conferences by video conference. So why not you?
Free video conferencing software
Let’s start with some free video conferencing software options. With them, there are no limits. Just install them and talk freely!
Google Meet is video conferencing software integrated in Google Workspace. Accessible to all, it is an easy-to-use tool that requires no specific installation. All you need to do is to have a Google account and invite your video conference participants to join you, by sharing a simple link.
In fact, they don’t even have to create an account or install a plug-in to be able to chat with you. With Google Meet, you can host meetings with up to 250 participants (even though the screen can only display a mosaic of 16 participants at a time). Google Meet automatically selects the most active of them). The platform also allows for up to 8 hours of recording, though this must be done on a computer rather than a mobile device.
Microsoft Teams is video conferencing software that belongs to the same group as Skype. It’s Skype Enterprise’s new name! Microsoft Teams is a collaborative platform that’s both very complete and practical.
It not only allows you to do video conferencing but also to transfer and store files. Integrated in the current versions of Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Teams allows you to share or edit Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files between multiple people.
Microsoft Teams is available on computers and iOS and Android mobile devices. Its free version includes a multitude of features, from making unlimited audio and video calls to integrating a panel of 140 different business apps.
Zoom is one of the most widely used video conferencing software platforms on the planet. It’s based on the same system as the Cloud and makes it possible to store or share content in real time. Zoom has HD video and audio quality, and it can accommodate up to 100 participants in a meeting.
While it has a free plan, Zoom has other paid features and a very wide variety of different plans to best suit all types of businesses.
Also available as a mobile app, Zoom allows you to host or join video conferences absolutely anywhere!
Note, however, that meetings are limited to 40 minutes for the free version of Zoom and that the platform’s software must be downloaded. It’s available on Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, Blackberry, and iOS.
Of course, it’s impossible to deal with this topic without mentioning Skype, the real giant of video conferencing! This software is one of the oldest on the market and has continued to evolve over time to meet the current needs of internet users.
Skype is now available from a web browser, on mobile devices, or via an app on computer desktops. In addition, Skype allows you to benefit from a multitude of options during your exchanges.
To test all these features, you don’t even need to create an account. It’s now possible to join a Skype meeting in “guest” mode. In just a few clicks, invite 3 to 50 participants for free and enjoy HD quality in your videos. As an option, Skype also allows you to blur your background during the call. Note, however, that, in its free version, the Skype user is limited to 10 hours of use per day and 100 hours per month.
One of the best-known apps, FaceTime was created in 2011 and specializes in video conferencing. Developed by Apple, it’s currently present on all devices running Mac OS or iOS, but also Windows and Android.
FaceTime makes it easy to chat with several people at once. The organizer can add up to 32 participants to each meeting. In turn, the thumbnail of the person speaking automatically expands, so you never lose track of the discussion. This smart feature is a huge asset!
Through this app, Apple reassures its users and certifies that all data transmitted remains encrypted from end to end.
FaceTime allows users to schedule video conferences in advance and offers new features, such as the ability to listen to shared music or watch a movie simultaneously with the other people in the discussion.
FaceTime therefore offers an enhanced user experience. In addition, its audio system includes a specific mode that makes it sound like the people on the call are actually in the room with you!
RingCentral Video is a video conferencing and team messaging platform developed by RingCentral, a communication technology solution that previously targeted medium- and large-sized businesses.
The RingCentral Video app’s free plan offers a variety of features that businesses of all sizes are bound to appreciate. For instance, participants can join calls without needing to install the software or create an account themselves. In addition, you can easily switch devices during a video call if needed, e.g., if you’re in the office and suddenly need to take your conversation on the go, you can continue on your mobile device.
This app also features intuitive AI capabilities to allow for a meeting experience that’s more immersive for participants. What’s more, businesses can host meetings of unlimited duration and have 200 participants at a time for each meeting.
Paid video conferencing software with a free trial
Other software options have paid plans and features. However, they usually come with a free trial. Here are 3 different tools that might convince you!
GoTo Meeting, formerly known as GoToMeeting, is video conferencing software created by LogMeln that costs €10.75 per month. Nevertheless, it has a free 14-day trial and gives you access to simple and reliable features to support you and your team.
With it, launch an online meeting in just a few clicks and chat with your customers or collaborators! GoTo Meeting is a platform that offers a pleasant experience and is very easy to use. Its design is intuitive, and the tool is designed to automatically adapt to your hardware format.
In this way, GoTo Meeting guarantees you video conferences of the best quality, without interruptions or technical problems during the call. Video conference organizers are free to set up their meetings as they wish for their teams or third-party guests. Starting the audio and video discussion just necessitates sharing the corresponding URL to all participants (250 people maximum).
ClickMeeting is a little different, as it’s basically a webinar tool. However, it also has features for online meetings and video conferencing.
Known for its reliability and the quality of the experience it offers to its users, Click Meeting is attractively priced considering all its features. With plans starting at €22 per month, it doesn’t require any specific installation and is accessible via a wide range of terminals.
To start a videoconference, the organizer simply needs to launch a new event, adjust some settings, and schedule the event. It can then host up to 25 participants per call.
Finally, let’s end this round-up with Hopin, ideal software if you want to plan virtual events such as master classes or conferences.
Unlike the above-mentioned tools, Hopin allows its users to host up to 100,000 simultaneous viewers! If you want to create important virtual events, this is the ideal platform!
With just a few clicks and without investing in very expensive equipment, it’s now possible to chat with your business partners, team, or customers live. Don’t deprive yourself of this advantage!
A few years ago, the quality wasn’t necessarily. Now it’s no longer the case, and it's perfectly enjoyable for business and teams to discuss at a distance via video conferencing.
Best of all, this technology significantly reduces our carbon footprint. With the support of video conferencing software and apps, there’s no need to travel. Everyone wins, including the planet!