Socialize Your Rich Media to Drive Sales
Even as every brand, big or small, tries to figure out social media, there are plenty of reasons to embrace it sooner than later. For online retailers, especially, the payoff can be great. Visitors who spend the most time on Facebook spend more in online shopping, with the top 20% spending $67 on average during the first quarter, according to online researcher comScore. Internet users who did not visit Facebook at all spent an average of $27 during the quarter. To boot, with Nielsen crowning social networking sites as the world's most popular destinations today, marketers must keep experimenting in this area.
As people spend more and more time in social media, smart etailers are creating opportunities for both fans and casual browsers to share their latest and greatest merchandise. To inspire social sharing and pass-alongs, the presentation has to be compelling. And what is more compelling than rich media?
Merchants should "switch on" their rich media assets and make it easy for anyone to post and share them in emails, blogs, Facebook and YouTube. If YouTube videos can go viral, so can any other form of rich media. Just keep in mind that viral isn't an end, but a means to build awareness and drive your traffic to consummate a purchase on your commerce site.
This year, ecommerce players will be deploying additional social and rich media tactics to improve customer experience--that's more than any other tactic including those in the areas of personalization and mobile, according to an annual Adobe Scene7 survey. In the area of rich media, interactive catalogue was the most- planned feature globally. (For more on the top planned ecommerce deployments in 2010, download the Adobe Scene7 survey).
One of the more innovative executions marrying interactive rich media and social media comes courtesy of Soft Surroundings, which targets busy women with stylish, comfortable apparel and home furnishing. With roots in the mail-order catalogue business, Soft Surroundings understands multichannel marketing. It knows that its loyal shoppers enjoy the catalogue experience, so it brought its interactive catalogue to Facebook. Shoppers can flip through each page to browse and savor the season's fabulous, richly-hued resort wear, while losing themselves in luxurious yet comfortable loungewear. If moved to buy, they can click right through to the Soft Surroundings website to complete their order.
We think Soft Surroundings' approach is a winner compared to other executions, where a Facebook 'Shop' page is often merely a collection of static images that click through to the commerce website. By presenting its offerings in a living, interactive catalogue that tells a coherent merchandising story, Soft Surroundings has gingerly landed itself at the head of the online competition.