Posts categorized ‘Experience’

Videos Drive Sales, But is All Video Content Created Equal?

Retail commerce grew by 15.4 percent in 2012 to reach a total sales volume of $73 million.

Comprehensive video contentA significant driver of the growth in online sales in general has been videos. Research by sponsored by Invodo, conducted in March 2012, estimates that one out of every two online shoppers have more confidence in the product when watching the product video, prompting them to buy and making them less likely to return the product. 31 percent of the shoppers actually buy after being influenced by the videos in the first place. 37 percent of online shoppers would purchase more products when the website offers product-informative videos and 41 percent of online shoppers would most probably return to a website that integrates video.

It seems that online shoppers resort to the video as a substitute to the “touch and feel” experience of physical shopping. But do all videos increase click throughs?

A May 2012 Google and Compete apparel study reveals that shoppers prefer consumer-generated video content more than editorial driven, marketer produced, video content. When shopping for apparels, 36 percent of online shoppers in the US viewed a customer testimonial or review video and 26 percent watched consumer-generated non-testimonial videos while only 29 percent of the online shoppers watched email marketing video content and 21 percent of the shoppers viewed video reviews made by professionals. Ads still hold their ground, with 25 percent of online shoppers viewing ads that appear on television, another 25 percent watching ads that appear elsewhere online and 16 percent watching ads that appear on an on-demand streaming video website.

The research also clarifies that online shoppers who viewed videos when researching for a product were more likely to spend more than those who did not view videos. 25 percent of the online shoppers who used video for research, purchased more than six times in the six-month period of the study when compared to the six months period before the study, whereas only 16 percent of those who did not use videos in their research purchased more during the same period. 28 percent of online shoppers who used videos when researching the product shopped for more than $500 in the six-month period of the research whereas only 2 percent of shoppers who did not watch video spend the same amount.

How can you use video in your online strategy to reap the rewards?

How to Entice Customers to Buy More

How many times have you entered a store to buy one thing and purchased a ton of other things instead? This is a common experience for most shoppers, and in fact the very success of many stores depends on such impulsive buying. Online stores are no different from brick and mortar stores in this regard.

Traditional supermarkets entice people to make the impulsive buy by inducing the shopper to remain in the store longer, force the customer to look at more and more items by clever planning and placement, and attract the customer with color and display and other similar tactics. These tactics work well with online stores as well.

Enticing Customers to Buy More in Digital CatalogsThe online marketer can:

  • Encourage more browsing by creating a linear experience so that the shopper lingers in the e-store. Digital catalogs works better than traditional e-commerce websites to provide this experience. Digital catalogs create an experience from start to finish, allowing the marketer to draw the reader through a story and make a presentation in a logical way.
  • Encourage customers to navigate around by providing links and enticing them with offers and special deals. The more products the customers see or the more pages they visit, the more they are likely to purchase.
  • Don’t go overboard. Too much information can be confusing. For instance, 40 pages is optimal size for a catalog and 80 the maximum. A longer catalogue leads to customers dropping off.
  • Be clear. If a tag indicates the shopper is at stage 2 of 4 of the shopping process, most shoppers will want to complete 4 of 4. A shopper at stage 3 of 4 of the shopping process but confused as to where she actually is may simply abandon the shopping cart.

Want some more tips on how you can create a successful online catalog? Download our whitepaper, Why We Buy Stuff.

How to Improve Conversions

The goal of all marketers is conversions. Marketers launch marketing campaigns and nurture leads in the ultimate hope that leads will convert. If not, the entire exercise is futile.

How to increase conversions with digital catalogsIn the past, a well crafted campaign was enough to secure the prospect’s conversion. However, it today’s digital age where the customer has access to multiple sources of information from many channels, a well crafted campaign is only the basic requirement to entice customers. Making sure that they convert requires greater effort.

The marketer needs to understand the shopping trends and patterns. For instance, they not only have to craft an attractive catalog that serves the customer’s exact needs, but they also need to understand where they land in the catalog, where they stop to read, what they click and other factors. This understanding allows the marketer to optimize the viewer’s experience. The flow and layout of the digital catalog in a way is the digital equivalent of the real estate utilization of a brick and mortar store.

Digital catalogs have an advantage here over other mediums as experience suggests that one in every two viewers would click through the entire catalog anyway. However, marketers cannot afford to take this for granted and even if viewers click through, they may stop and consider purchase only when the page appeals to them. The marketer needs to lure the viewer to stay via appealing color and designs, providing surprises that coax the viewer to turn to the next page, and more.

With over 40 percent of all purchases being impulsive purchases, the extent to which crucial mediums such as the digital catalog succeed in attracting viewers and prompt them to buy can make or break a business.

Want to increase conversions? Learn more from our research in our Why We Buy Stuff whitepaper. Find out what you need to do to improve your bottom line.

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Infographic: Tablet & Mobile Shoppers Holiday Plans

In concordance with our recent survey, we’ve produced an infographic displaying some of the data from our Tablet & Mobile Shoppers Holiday Plans research. Nearly half of online shopping will take place on tablets this year. Have you optimized your experience across multiple touch points to make sure you’re encouraging sales?

We dive into how people plan to shop across devices, including PCs, tablets, and mobile, as well as gender and age specific trends. What surprises you?

For more information on this topic, download the full 2012 Tablet & Mobile Shoppers Holiday Plan Survey. It dives into deeper detail of what we found!

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Tablet and mobile shoppers holiday plans

Infographic: How We Consume Content From Brands

In the digital ages, the general population consumes content from many different sources, including blogs, whitepapers, webinars, podcasts, and so on. But how do people really consume this content?

Based on research we conducted, we found that 70% of US online consumers listen to the opinions published on blogs, reviews and discussion forums, and 32% of the people who listen to these opinions, trust those reviews over branded advertisements. But we’ve also found that device plays a big role in how people consume content; specifically, 63% of people use smart phones while they are in a store and 56% do product research. Are you mobile sites optimized for the best experience for your customer?

While this is only some of the data, we compiled an infographic that really tells that story of how people consume data from brands. What surprises you? What confirms what you already know?

Zmags How We Consume Content From Brands Infographic



Why Marketers are Providing Video-Based Content

Video consumption has soared over the past couple years. Comscore reports that as on April 2012, almost 85% of the US audience has viewed an online video. A standard adult viewer watches 21.8 hours of video a month on an average, and this is double the corresponding figure in 2010.

Video-based content in digital magazineThe emergence of multiple digital touch points with enhanced multimedia capabilities has further facilitated the popularity of videos as a content medium. A 2012 study by the etailing group sponsored by Invodo reveals that one in two smart phone users and more than six out of ten tablet users watch one or more product videos in a three month period.

Such a steep increase in the popularity of the video has made marketers sit up and take notice. The Social Media Examiner reports that 76% of all marketers plan to increase the pace of video in their marketing plans in 2012. This is likely to yield good results, while the Internet Retailer reports that 85% of the prospects who view product videos would most likely make the purchase. Those who view video are 174% more likely to make a purchase versus those who do not watch videos.

Videos provide the most appropriate engagement medium for those who prefer visual or audible communications over written or verbal communications. These people constitute about 60 to 70% of all shoppers.

Videos help consumers progress to a “ready to buy” state by educating them with product information and specifications. Evidence suggests that people who watch videos spend more time on the website and engage better. When they purchase, they purchase with confidence, with lesser cart abandonment compared to those who do not watch videos. After making a purchase, they are less likely to return the product.

For the marketer, incorporating video provides an added benefit of improved SEO optimization, resulting in improved search engine ranking and thereby better visibility.

Online Publications Gaining Popularity

The first iPad issue of the famous Wired magazine sold 105,000 copies, a significantly higher number than the print issue. It was downloaded 24,000 times in the first 24 hours.

Online Magazines Gaining Popularity | ZmagsSince the launch in 2010, Wired has an average digital circulation of 108,622. This includes 68,380 print subscribers activating their free digital access, 7,004 subscribers purchasing single digital copies and 33,237 regular paid subscriptions of the digital version. In all, digital viewership accounts for about 37 percent of print sales. What makes this figure remarkable is that the iPad is just over two years old. These figures are sure to grow as tablets become even more popular and will in all probability surpass print sales.

The wide receptivity of digital magazines delivered over the tablet is due to the tablet’s rich media that does not sacrifice portability or convenience.

The tablet offers readers an interactive and dynamic experience that exceeds the possibilities of other digital devices. In a print magazine, an ad may ask the reader to call or email for further information or take action. Since the reader has to do so through another device, they may fail to do so. With the tablet, the reader may click on the given link or email straightaway. Users may also tap into the content they prefer directly, including watching a preview before opting to pay for the content.

The small size and lightweight nature of the tablets means that readers may just as well as carry the tablet around than the print magazine. The magazine will always be available at the user’s fingertips, and the user can decide how they would like to digest the publication.

Have you created a rich online experience for your customers?

How to Optimize Websites for the Tablet

Tablet sales are soaring. eMarketer estimates that 90 million tablets will be used to ensure that one out of every three online purchases will be made via the tablet by 2014. Such popularity, however, means little to brand marketers unless this helps in enhancing customer experience.

How to Optimize Websites for the Tablet | ZmagsNormal websites work in tablets, but these websites are not designed for the tablet screen or to cater to tablet browsing behaviors. Browsing such websites through the tablet would invariably result in usability breakdowns and a poor user experience.

The biggest problem is incompatibility of party plug-ins such as Flash and Java with the iOS. Website owners looking to optimize their websites for the tablets may need to substitute Flash with HTML5 for audio and video streaming and JavaScript with CSS3 for other animations. This will ensure a seamless browsing experience from both the tablet and the traditional PC.

Navigating most websites require complex mouse movements and actions. Touchscreen tablets do not support hover or double-click, which is taken for granted in the desktop PC. To optimize for tablet, it is imperative to eliminate such features and limit navigation requirements to scrolling, panning or clicking on elements.

Tablets are a marked improvement over smartphones when it comes to screen real estate, but they are still much smaller than a PC screen and require finger taps. As such, traditional forms of selection such as radio boxes, check boxes and scroll down lists become clumsy and increase the chances of wrong selection. To ensure a tablet optimized website, eliminate such options and increase spacing between the interactive elements.

Many webmasters face the challenge of incorporating quality content in the limited space available. While it is possible to zoom in the tablet screen, frequent zooming is a put off for website visitors. A way to avoid this is to increase the size of key elements such as headlines, navigation elements, and body copy. This allows visitors to scan the page without zooming, and zoom in to access the required content in-depth.

Most tablet users switch between vertical and horizontal views, and also pinch to zoom in and out of content. Fixed page width and positioning becomes a cardinal sin in webpage design for tablets.

The underlying requirements when optimizing for the tablet is to understand what customers expect from you and adjust accordingly. Zmags creates an optimized user experience that is published to multiple touch points in order to increase conversion rates and showcase your brand, while paying attention to all of the details noted above. Is your brand in desperate needs of an optimized experience?