E-commerce: How Interactive Additions to HP.com Increased Sales, Reduced Exit Rates
As evidenced by the proliferation of shows like eTail, nearly every cataloger and brick-and-mortar retailer has its own Web site. But what does that Web site do for your brand? Is your business on the Web to sell, build the brand or just keep up with the competition?
Prior to a recent redesign of HP.com, Hewlett-Packard defined its online priorities and took steps to address them with Web 2.0 features, such as blogs, podcasts and interactive content, said Stephanie Acker-Moy, vice president of customer experience at HP.com, in a keynote session at last week’s eTail conference in Palm Desert, Calif. Below are her top three priorities followed by details of the redesign’s impact on one portion of HP.com:
1. Sales: “As a manufacturer, return business and continued usage of your product is something that builds the brand and grows the business,” Acker-Moy said. HP’s new site needed to find ways to drive higher conversions, which it hoped to accomplish via its second priority.
2. Content: Acker-Moy and her staff theorized that the more often customers came back and used HP.com for pleasure, the more they’d eventually buy. The site redesign would then encourage site visitors to use HP.com’s photo editing software, printing tutorials and other activities on the site, such as Snapfish, HP’s photo sharing site. Product tips and project ideas using HP merchandise are now featured throughout the site. The theory goes “... if customers use the site, they’ll print more, use more ink, and need to buy more products from HP sooner,” Acker-Moy said.
3. Support. Since HP sells computers, printers and digital cameras, a significant amount of activity surrounding support and troubleshooting already happened on the site. The goal for the site redesign was to use those support pages as a selling point for the brand. “Online support is a huge satisfaction driver,” Acker-Moy pointed out. “It’s a big brand detractor if done wrong and big brand bonus if done right.”
HP specifically wanted to showcase that it was a major competitor in the digital photography space. “We’re more known for computers and printers,” Acker-Moy noted. “Competing with other photography brands traditionally has been an uphill battle.”
In order to shift customers’ perceptions of HP, Acker-Moy’s team redesigned the digital photography section of the site to encourage activities involving HP’s photography products as much as its printing products. Acker-Moy said the original page was boring and didn’t push any specific activity. The new design added interactive Flash activity on the left side of the page that describes how to take better pictures. Highlighted on the right side of the page is a section on how to print your photos.
And although blogs and RSS also have entered into HP.com’s recent redesign, there’s been a major push toward using podcasts across customer segments, including both consumer and business customers.
Although HP primarily has used podcasts as a public relations tool rather than a selling tool, Acker-Moy said customers have turned the podcasts into an interactive medium by referring friends to podcasts, such as those that give lessons on how to take better pictures.
Acker-Moy revealed that after the addition of interactive activities on the digital photography section of HP.com, the exit rate went down 63 percent, home printing of photos increased 500 percent, sales of cameras and printers increased 85 percent, free photo software downloads increased 260 percent, and ink and paper sales increased 33 percent.