How Interactive Product Tours Can Increase SEO and Sales
In September, a study released by research and advisory firm the e-tailing group concluded that 54 percent of U.S. consumers who regularly shop on the web research products online before making a purchase, whether they buy in-store, online, via a mobile device or through a call center.
With Google Catalogs and Facebook Gifts, it's evident the e-commerce industry is seeing an influx of industry leaders vying for a piece of the pie. It's also clear that a more dynamic, informative and interactive shopping experience is required long before consumers walk through a retailer's front door. Additionally, today's mobile shopper isn't just looking at your offering; their ability to find the best price is only a few touches away.
Some leading retailers are now integrating dynamic technologies into their brick-and-mortar store experience to both create a sense of excitement and to provide valuable education to shoppers about products and their feature sets. For example, Burberry, the high-end British apparel retailer, is blending the digital world with the physical shopping experience at its flagship stores.
Interactive product tours (IPT) add excitement and extend session times on your website, and there's a direct correlation between longer session times and a higher conversion rate. This rich media presentation consists of a three-in-one light box demonstrating products in 360º spinning imagery, product video, still image galleries and digital catalogs that look exactly like the printed version that arrives in your mailbox, only they're fully interactive.
Once engaged with an IPT, shoppers can spin products to view them at any angle; activate "i-callouts," which highlight specific features and functionality; zoom and pan over images; watch educational videos about the product; and view product image galleries that demonstrate products and apparel on different models or in different settings. When viewing the catalog, shoppers will be able to gather rich media details about every item by simply touching the product or garment depicted. And yes, they can even add to cart. Check out this example from Canon.
Think of these solutions as an interactive media tool kit for your product. Built entirely from non-Flash technologies, IPTs require no plug-ins and are platform agnostic. The technology automatically senses the device that's calling the content and formats it for ideal viewing on desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones. Depending on the shopper and their device, they can simply use their mouse or finger to navigate through a variety of dynamic product presentations, providing them the information and confidence to buy online.
The advantage of this rich media product presentation is that it can be created once and then deployed to any and all electronic media, including broadcast, websites, social networks, mobile devices and even in-store (dynamic signage). The idea is to create the content once, then deploy it to all of the places your customers expect to find it.
At the end of the day, price is becoming less and less important. All are hurdling through cyberspace toward what can be called "universal pricing." Consumers now possess the technology to shop and find the lowest price online in seconds. Success will still be measured in terms of sales, but those sales will be derived from the quality of customer engagement and brand interaction - not price. Simply put, IPTs are a great way to delight your customers with a cutting-edge presentation that builds brand loyalty and increases sales. This isn't a fad; it's the future.