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July 28, 2009

Delve Into the Details with Guided Zoom

An online shopper clicking on zoom is the equivalent of an in-store shopper picking up an item to take a closer look. That's generally when a sales associate steps in to offer assistance, point out key features, and basically helps to guide the shopping experience. You can accomplish a very similar scenario on your website by adding zoom targets to your product's images and incorporating text tips as well. Here are some great examples:

TravelSmith
This site uses large thumbnail images in its viewer to recommend specific areas on the larger image where shoppers can zoom to see specific product details.

ExOfficio
In a pop-up zoom viewer, this site adds merchandising copy beneath each thumbnail target to describe a feature, giving the user more information prior to clicking on any target.

Telescope.com
This site incorporates a similar approach as the first two mentioned above, but with an embedded zoom viewer. Also, the thumbnails and text appear as an overlay directly onto the product image itself.

Zoom targets with rollover text can be especially helpful when trying to point out multiple products in a single lifestyle shot. For example:

Liberty Hardware
This site uses one single image to point out items in the collection such as the towel holder, towel ring, robe hook, and toilet paper holder. Rollover text indicates each specific SKU number. Shoppers can also interactively pan the entire image themselves by simply moving the image with their mouse and clicking on the zoom controls. This is a great way to use lifestyle room scenes that show off each fixture in a collection.

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July 23, 2009

What Motivates Shoppers Also Mystifies Critics

We've been getting some interesting feedback on our Brand Loyalty blog article and whitepaper released in June. What appears to be really capturing people's attention most is Universal McCann's survey of online shoppers and what motivates them to share opinions about their shopping experiences. In the survey, six of the eight top reasons to share opinions involve the shopper's own experience--good or bad--or the experience of their friends. And, most interestingly, the good experiences outrank poor experiences two to one as reason to motivate sharing opinions. Also, good experiences were the top 3 reasons to "spread the word" to others.

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The question then, is why web behavior is seemingly polar opposite of traditional retail behavior. Normally we (as consumers) all talk a lot more about a negative shopping experience than a positive one. It's simply human nature to want to "vent." So why are people so much more eager to post a positive review/experience online than a negative one?

One reader believes the reason there is such a great variance in offline/online shopping behavior is because offline transactions are considered "normal," every day fare--we shop, we wait in lines, we encounter all types of sales associates and we pay. It's a non-event. We may talk about the product we've just purchased, but not the process of purchasing it. So, when we complain, it's about the product. For instance, when we buy a new car, we don't typically talk about the cleanliness (or lack thereof) of the showroom and the coffee we consumed in the waiting room, we talk about the car and all its features.

Well, on the internet, the shopping and buying experience become so co-mingled that we become nearly as "wowed" by the process as we are by the product. And that may be the primary reason shoppers are so enthusiastic when all the stars align; when we save a trip to the store (saving precious time), find exactly what we're looking for (versus a wasted trip) and at the price we want to pay (versus wondering if it is available for less elsewhere)... plus enjoy an efficient checkout process (no waiting in line), shoppers just might feel motivated to really celebrate the experience, not just the product, by telling a friend about it. I can't recall that last time I told someone about a great in store experience - but am wowed all the time about things I see on the web. I was just telling someone the other day about a great experience I had using Netflix... that had nothing to do with the movie I was checking out.

What do you think? When you shop do you tend to share your experiences more when you're shopping online or offline? Do you talk more about a good or bad experience?

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July 06, 2009

Use Dynamic Imaging to Reduce Workload

What are you doing this weekend? Will you be sitting at your computer creating multiple versions and various dimensions of the same image for your website? Why not take the weekend off and have this monotonous task done for you with a dynamically driven imaging system?

Did you know that multiple derivative images (a must-have for any successful ecommerce site) can be created based on a single high-resolution image? Rather than manually creating several images­—for example, a thumbnail and an enlarged-view image—you can take a single master image, and have all modified images generated as you request them, on the fly. Most Adobe Scene7 customers begin with this basic (but effective) feature when they first start out using rich media and then slowly add more automation as they grow comfortable with the solution.

The nice thing about a feature like Dynamic Imaging is that beyond the obvious benefits, it enables you to make universal changes (almost like a “search and replace” function in a program like Microsoft Word) and quickly affect the size and formatting of an image “type” throughout your website or application. You can leverage a collection of size and formatting attributes to streamline your web production and make your job MUCH easier.

Have a look at some examples of customers who’ve had great success using Scene7’s Dynamic Imaging.

Anthropologie, an innovative specialty retailer & wholesaler, has recognized a 3X reduction in staffing & production costs after rolling out Scene7’s Dynamic Imaging solution to create and deploy all imagery and online catalogs for its e-commerce website.

Moosejaw, a multi-channel outdoor sporting goods retailer, was able to save 60% in time and cost savings by adding dynamic zoom, re-sizing and color swatching across all images on their e-commerce website. Before Scene7, Moosejaw had at least a three-step process for preparing images—which included getting an image from the supplier and creating at least 3 different sizes per color, and per product, which resulted in about 15,000 different image variations every 6 months. Because Scene7 can dynamically generate every variation from a single master image, Moosejaw was able to cut the number of images they needed to create to less than 5,000 images - netting tremendous savings across the board.

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Learn more about Image Sizing and Image Presets in Adobe Scene7.

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  • ShopTalk is a blog featuring "Quick Tips", trends and more written by experts from the Adobe Scene7 team who live and breathe web, rich media and customer experience. This interactive forum offers insights and best practices on the latest trends we are seeing in the marketplace to help improve your customer experience, ultimately driving conversions and revenues.
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