Posts categorized ‘Showcase’

How Online Catalogs Support Personalized Sales

Today’s customers are highly informed and access information about products through various digital touch points (like online catalogs!) by themselves. The role of the marketer is now to guide the customer through the buying process, to provide them with a good experience in whichever channel or medium they choose, rather than dictate terms. This requires a shift from the product centric marketing campaigns to customer centric campaigns, and this, in turn rests on the marketer customizing the engagement with the customer. At the same time, the marketer also needs to ensure a consistent voice and message across the different channels.

Online catalogs as a marketing tool facilitate this trend, which is evident from the experiences of PartyLine, a niche maker of candles, candle warmers, fragrances and premium home décor products.

PartyLine Zmags Catalog

The company’s online catalog, powered by Zmags Verge, retains its almost one hundred year old reputation of providing personalized service and striking a lasting relationship with customers. The company managed to create lasting relationships by delivering top quality, sustainable and durable lifestyle and home décor products.

The Verve powered catalog, slick in design and optimized to provide the perfect medium showcase such strengths. The rich imagery that radiate the beauty of the products takes on from where the glossy print catalog left and even improves the experience for the consumer.

The catalog, instead of listing each item on stock, lists only a few products with bigger images, and a curative experience when the consumer browses the catalogue. The company merchandises the products exactly the way they want online shoppers to find them.

A preview tab allows the consumer to see the product coming up next, allowing them to delve into it or side step it to some other product.

The rich, in-depth, flexible and engaging experience offered by Zmags PartyLine catalog gels perfectly with at-home parties where the sales agent connects with the potential clients.

How can you use an online catalog to engage your customers?

Digital Catalogs: A Perfect Fit for Luxury Retailers

With tablets and smart phones steadily increasing in popularity, the multiple digital touch point world is here to stay. Brands trying to woo an increasingly tech savvy customer base must indulge in a host of innovative digital marketing strategies.

Publishing online magazines and digital catalogs lead the list of strategies aimed at wooing the digital consumer. Publishing this type of content provides multiple benefits for the high end retailer. It not only provides immediate ecommerce benefits, but also ensures the development of the brand in the long term.

* Attractive content increases brand visibility. The brand remains in the mind of the viewer even if they do not make an immediate purchase.

* Such content creates an excitement centered on the brand. It creates a positive buzz that helps marketers to engage prospects and customers better

Many high end luxury brands have used Zmags to produce attractive product catalogs and other rich digital content to such ends.

Kenneth Cole has released a simple yet powerful catalog that allows the viewer to get a realistic feel of the product and simply click on the required product in its natural setting to make a purchase. The catalog entices the viewer with sleek and attractive images to create a favorable impression that lingers. It solicits the viewers email, promising a special offer, both increasing the chances of conversion and generating new leads for the marketer.

Neiman Marcus has transformed its traditional look into an exciting virtual shopping experience. While it retains the usual easy to use features such as ability to make a purchase with a single click and attractive images, it also adds premium features such as the ability to zoom into any portion of the page for a richer and detailed view. An innovative layout offers a view of related products in the same page without taking the focus off the product showcased.

Neiman Marcus catalog by Zmags

How can you use Zmags for your digital brands to increase conversions?

Creating an Experience That Converts Lookers to Buyers

A picture is worth a thousand words, which especially holds true in ecommerce. Creating a look that converts browsers into buyers can fuel sales. The “look,” however, extends much more than an attractive or clever image. Marketers have to leverage the rich media capabilities offered by the latest touch points to make the shopping experience fun, easy and seamless.

A case in point is the Express Fall 2012 collection catalog. The catalog is arranged in a simple and neat fashion. Users may simply click on the arrow to browse the different pages, or it can run as a slideshow. The specific items displayed in each page, such as necklace, shirt and tank are clearly marked. Users can simply click on the required object to buy without leaving the page.

Express Fall 2012 collection catalog | Zmags

By clicking on the product, a pop up window comes up with an expandable description of the product, color and other technical specifications, allowing the user to enter the size and number of pieces that they would like. The user then has the option to continue browsing the catalog or proceeding to checkout. In checkout, the user has the option to make changes, login or enter the billing information and make the payment.

The “Get the look” option in the catalogue opens up a pop up listing the entire “look” or the range of products showcased in the image, making the purchase easy and fast.

The “Show Me More” option opens up a pop up that lists additional items available, which may or may not be part of the catalog, but which closely relates to the product being shown.  The customer has the option to compare alternatives and dig deeper into the inventory to make the best buy.

The first page of the catalog features a video that showcases the products. Research by Google concludes that 53 percent of all tablet shoppers use videos when researching and shopping, and among them, 82 percent watch videos for more than 10 minutes.

Bottom line is that intuitive features in the catalog enrich the shopping experience. Is your shopping intuitive? Are you creating a visually compelling experience?

All Online Magazines are Not Created Equal

More and more brands are now publishing digital magazines and online catalog, thanks to the popularity of emerging digital touch points such as tablets.

However, not all content works wonders. Online magazines are not created equal. Only the best ones become a hit and contribute to increased sales and brand visibility.

So what does it take to deliver a popular digital magazine or catalog?

Good catalogs and magazines showcase a realistic feel of the product and provide a fascinating experience prompting the visitor to make the purchase, or at least create the imagery in their minds for recollection. Needless to say, it makes it easy for the visitor to view the product in its natural setting, compare related products or get a complete view of the products in relation to other products. For instance, how a handbag stands out with a shirt top or how it matches with the shoe.

A good example of such a well-done catalogue is Zmags’ Lenovo Catalog.

Zmags' Lenovo Catalog

The key features to note include:

•    A structured design where the main catalog has image heavy pages and interested users click on “Learn More” to open a pop up that provides finer details of the products on display. Users can close the pop up or side step it to return to the same point without having to start all over again

•    Large images that allow users to view the product in finer detail

•    A small thumbnail that pops up when hovering around the cursor, providing a glimpse of what comes ahead or lies just before

•    A header that serves as an index, allowing the visitor to browse by category, bypassing the featured products in other categories

•    A footer that lists available offers and provides customer care contact info for any additional information

Is your online magazine attracting customers?

How to Net “Generation C”

Marketers cannot afford to ignore “Generation C,” the group of customers who remain connected 24×7 through multiple devices. This group transacts, browses and shares all the time regardless of whether they are at home, at work or in transit, through devices such as tablets, smart phones and the traditional desktop. These multi-channel buyers spend 4-5 times more than the average customer, making them too valuable.

Checking reviews on mobile phone while shoppingVery often, the “Generation C” syncs buying with their normal routine. For instance, a person may browse a catalog on her tablet when having her morning coffee and seeing a blender in the catalog remember that she needs one. At work, she may search for more information on the type of blender to buy at the store that was displayed in the catalog. On the way back from work, she may enter a store, use her smart phone to compare the prices and specs on the online store versus what is on offer at the store, before making the purchase.

So what is the role of marketer in such a customer-driven stream of events?

Marketers have to use multiple touch points rather than rely on a single channel alone. Two out of every three customers research online even if they purchase offline. Sending an automated follow up email when the customer shows interest in the catalog improves visibility. The customer may not access the email through the tablet but would most likely do so at work. Targeted ads that place an ad when the customer logs in through a social network account also deliver the same impact. A timely reminder with a convenient click to access the product page would prevent the customer from making a general search on blenders and landing at the competitor’s website.

Generation C lives on, and breathes, peer reviews. Empirical evidence suggests that they believe in peer reviews over marketing efforts by a ratio of 3:1. The customer would most likely share details of the purchase in the social media. The marketer has to be prompt in requesting a product review, or invite the customer to join the product page in the social media channel. The prospect contemplating the purchase would most likely consider the experiences of her friends before proceeding to buy.

Are you promoting an experience online that encourages customers to buy? Are you getting positive reviews?

How to Use Email Campaigns to Drive Traffic to Digital Catalogs

Digital catalog and publications are the new focus of marketers, thanks to the popularity of these content types among tablet users. Marketers, however, have to continuously promote after an online catalog is created to ensure that revenues keep flowing. In order to this, you need to drive traffic to your online catalog.

Browsing online catalog on tabletEmail campaigns are a great way to continue driving traffic to your catalog. Email that focuses on the catalog or contains a link to the same in the sidebar is a good way to let people know about the availability of such content. However, Zmags has found that emails that promote the catalog directly deliver four times more traffic compared to emails that promote the catalog in sidebars or through links.

The email that promotes the magazine directly succeeds when it catches the email recipient’s attention, creating curiosity or triggering a latent want that prompts a click through to the catalog. For instance, the email may highlight inspiring gift ideas, prompting the recipient to find out what the gift ideas are. Using a digital catalog to showcase these items is a great way for the recipient to make an educated decision and purchase your product.

The email that promotes the catalog in the sidebar would only drive a click if they have been “engaged” by the story in the email. The email may, for instance, speak about a travel sale and provide a link to the catalog that provides great deals. But the story has to be compelling enough for the recipient to want to explore more.

Either way, including a link to your online catalog will drives more clicks to your catalog, which in turn drives more revenue. Use your marketing resources to your advantage!

Introducing VERGE

 Introducing Zmags' New Feature Verge

The platform that will change everything you know about digital shopping

Today’s shopper knows exactly what they want when it comes to shopping. They want an experience that heightens their senses, tells a story and inspires them to buy. Furthermore, as I mentioned in my last post, they want to have this experience on the device of their choice. It is these consumer desires that spurred the development of our newest platform enhancement – Verge. Verge is a new way for retailers and brands to exceed these consumer demands through an immersive catalog shopping experience.

Shop the Look feature of VERGE

So what’s so different about Verge? Verge brings more streamlined and redefined revenue-generating features to the Zmags platform, including:

  • Shop the Look: With Verge, consumers can now shop complete looks, kits or other product groupings defined by the retailer or brand across the Web, Facebook, tablets and smartphones. See how our forward-thinking customer Express has used this new feature to make their customers feel as though they are shopping the help of a trained stylist : Express Zmags Catalog
  • Enhanced Navigation: Verge maximizes the use of available real estate and simplifies navigation to make it more intuitive. This results in a larger focus on the content being displayed. The upgrade also enhances the swiping experience on all touchscreen devices, with previous and next page “peeking” capabilities, as well as a new intuitive visual Table of Content browsing experience. Check out how PartyLite has changed their online catalog into an interactive sales tool for their Consultants: PartyLite Zmags Catalog
  • Improved HTML5 functionality: In addition to improving the user experience of the iPad HTML5 version, Verge adds the ability to search and share from within the catalog.

The goal when creating Verge was not only to help retailers and brands meet the aforementioned consumer demands, but also to help them encourage product discovery. Breaking free of the stagnant e-commerce shopping experience that we see on most shopping sites today – we want to help retailers introduce shoppers to products they may not have otherwise purchased.

We are extremely proud of this significant upgrade and encourage you to explore what Verge has to offer your brand. If you have any question please feel free to reach out to Kathleen Goodwin at kgo@zmags.com.

Gearing Up for the Holiday Season

105 million out of the total 177 million online adults in the US access the Internet through two or more different device types. One in three in this group does so with a minimum of four different device types. About 4.5 million access the net from a minimum of nine different device types.

Online Shopping During the Holiday Season | ZmagsThe use of multiple devices peaks during the holiday season, when people are more likely to use the smart phone and tablets in addition to the desktop. The number of online shoppers during the holiday season has seen a steady increase over the years. The value of the coming holiday online shopping season is expected to increase by 36 percent over the previous year.

Marketers need to understand these facts and tailor a multi-device compatible shopping experience for the holiday season.

Most shoppers shop online for a better deal, and this is even more so during the holiday season. Data from forrester.com reveals that search volume for retailer coupons and discount codes has consistently peaked during the holiday season for the past three years. The sales data for Black Friday, Thanksgiving Weekend and Cyber Monday makes this even more apparent. 45 of the 50 top online retailers understand this fact and offer special deals during the holiday season in general and key dates in particular. Free shipping is the most popular of the various special deals options.

Smart marketers should leverage the technology offered by emerging devices such as tablets and smart phones to drive loyalty. For instance, the promotion that customers cherish during the festival season could come as reward for checking into a specific store. Customers scanning the brand’s QR code could be delivered a special discount.

The possibilities are endless. How can you differentiate yourself during the holiday season?

Does Tablet Size Matter?

Apple seems all set to launch “iPad Mini,” a 7-inch screen iPad later this year. This initiative comes from empirical data that rates portability as the single biggest factor boosting tablet sales.

Does Tablet Size Matter? | ZmagsThe screen size plays a big role in making the tablet convenient to carry around. A small screen means not just a smaller sized tablet, but also a lighter, and in all probability, a relatively inexpensive tablet. While the i-Pad’s 9.7 inch screen remains the industry standard, lately, many competitors have launched, or are in the process of launching, pocket-sized 7-inch models.

Tablet buyers however make their purchase decisions based more on the screen quality than screen size. For instance, the high-definition, pixel-packed Retina display is a major factor in boosting iPad3 sales.

Both the 10-inch and the 7-inch screen have their uses, and one does not really overpower the other when it comes to functionality. The 10-inch screen is more suited for web browsing and engaging via social media due to the larger screen real estate, whereas the 7-inch lighter version (hopefully!) will be preferred by avid ebook readers, and those using the tablet mostly to watch videos.

The proposed “iPad Mini” may not feature the high definition Retina display, but may incorporate LG display instead.

Apart from better displays, the major factors that influence tablet sales most are the extent to which tablets incorporate the latest technology, and the diversity of the supporting app libraries.