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April 19, 2012

Make It Personal

Different individuals deserve different experiences. Not a novel idea, but digital marketers continue to face the challenge of how to execute this concept today.

With enhanced Adobe Digital Marketing Suite integrations, the latest release of Adobe Scene7 lends way to a sigh of relief, allowing businesses to easily scale and deliver more relevant and personalized experiences to consumers. As an integral part of Adobe’s Web Experience Management solution, digital marketers can add Scene7 marketing banners into page templates through a simple drag-and-drop configuration. Leveraging comprehensive visitor data from Adobe Test&Target and Adobe CQ, Scene7 will dynamically assemble the right content combination for the visitor on demand.

Additionally, marketers and merchandisers can deliver relevant banners within the site search experience. The new integrated workflow with Adobe Search&Promote streamlines dynamic content assembly based on promotional business rules.  You now have a quick and easy way to cus­tomize and deliver the most relevant marketing offers on search and navigation pages in real time.

Lastly, take advantage of the new HTML5 and Flash viewers, which expand your ability to provide unique, differentiated rich experiences across all channels. These include auto-play image slide shows; auto-spin capabilities; and embedded video content in interactive catalogs and brochures. And of course, we’ll give you that smart URL to deliver the right content, in the right viewing format for the screen or device.

This release also offers enhanced video streaming for desktop and Android, and enhanced internationalization support. Click here for complete details of the latest Adobe Scene7 release.

Embed video in your online catalog seamlessly with the latest Scene7 release

Embed video in your online catalog seamlessly with the latest Scene7 release

 

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November 21, 2011

Custom apparel website, Customizo, dramatically reduces bounce rates by 95% and lifts conversion by 400% in just four weeks

Social shopping is where it’s at these days – more consumers are seeking second opinions from their social network before a purchase. But what about giving consumers a way to create and customize items together before they buy? Enter Customizo, an innovator in the custom, logoed apparel industry. Customizo offers a customer-centric online Design Studio so that anyone from individuals and affinity groups, to sports teams and large businesses, can use their logos and proprietary designs to design their own apparel and accessories. Through the Design Studio, users share creations among their group and collaboratively edit, review, vote on, and finalize a design.

Customizo uses Adobe Scene7 dynamic media solutions and Adobe Creative Suite Design Premium software to create this unique design platform and has recently seen online user engagement metrics soar. Within a month of its new website going live the company had dramatically decreased bounce rates by 95% and increased conversion rates by 400%.

 

“Using Scene7 to improve the way customers design, preview, and complete their orders, we saw more online conversions in just two weeks than in the 18 months on our old website with our previous, more manual, solution and processes,” explains Ryan Saunders, the President of Customizo. “Adobe has helped our business become more nimble.”

Continue reading about Customizo’s success here: www.omniture.com/go/41984

 

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April 19, 2011

From coffee table to mobile tablet – browsing your favorite catalogs just got easier

When Montgomery Ward sent out its first catalog in 1872, I am sure no one at the time imagined that one day people would be flipping pages of multiple catalogs from one single portable device. But here we are nearly a century-and-a-half later and that is exactly what the latest release of Adobe Scene7 is making possible.

Scene7 eCatalogs are now optimized for rich viewing experiences across multiple screens, allowing companies to quickly and easily transform print catalogs into dynamic and interactive experiences that reach shoppers on-the-go. Companies already publishing online catalogs with Scene7 can leverage existing eCatalog assets and seamlessly deliver them to iPads and iPhones. With support for multi-touch and gesture interactions, such as pinch to zoom in/out, double tap to zoom in/out, swipe to turn pages, mobile-optimized eCatalog viewers also respond to device rotation to swap between single page, portrait orientation and double page, landscape orientation spreads. These features enable businesses to scale existing rich, immersive experiences to more screens.

Some other highlights of this latest release include:

Tighter Adobe Test&Target integration to optimize relevance and conversion

Improved content synchronization capabilities between Adobe Scene7 and Adobe Test&Target™ enable customers of both solutions to quickly and easily transfer Scene7 images, templates, videos, recuts and Dynamic Banner assets to Test&Target to perform tests and reveal the most compelling and relevant content and executions for conversion lift.

Deeper Creative Suite 5 integration to further streamline desktop-to-Web workflows

A new Scene7 Creative Suite Extension for Flash Professional allows upload, preview and customization of Flash projects to Scene7 directly within Flash Professional, enabling a seamless, efficient workflow for creating Scene7 Dynamic Banners. The new "publish" capability in Scene7 Creative Suite Extension further enables users to publish assets, already uploaded to Scene7, to live image servers directly from within the Creative Suite 5 application.

With this tighter integration, companies can continually optimize their digital experiences in real-time without going back to the desktop to build new variations of creative, enabling customers to extend testing by eliminating high production time and costs.

Open Viewer Platform for Flash SDK to create innovative customer experiences with custom viewers

Companies can achieve flexibility and creativity to extensively customize Scene7 Flash viewers and uniquely brand viewer look-and-feel and interactivity with a new Flash component-based framework. Additionally, reusable performance-optimized components lower the overall cost of viewer development and accelerate custom development.

Video search engine optimization and libraries to maximize discoverability

To improve video discoverability, Scene7 now automatically generates and updates a sitemap/mRSS of the videos for submission to search engines, ensuring that companies are able to maximize the ROI on their video investments. Additionally, companies can create video libraries that consolidate videos in one central location within their site or as a separate microsite, establishing a destination where consumers can go to find valuable video searchable by title, description, keywords, category and related videos.

 

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March 24, 2011

Top 10 Tips for Delivering Rich, Relevant Experiences Everywhere

In today's fragmented environment where consumers are spending time in multiple channels and using multiple screens, the delivery of rich, relevant experiences is proving to be a challenge. Businesses have to be everywhere while continuously adapting to their customers’ ever-changing content consumption habits.

Fresh off the presses is our latest whitepaper, Top 10 Tips for Optimizing ROI with Dynamic Content, that identifies 10 key strategies and tactics to help you build rich experiences that yield results. From to scaling rich media through automation rather than manual production to socializing your rich media to engage fans, the tips in this guide can help you maximize results across multiples channels.

Get your copy today and let us know what tips you will try first.

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September 01, 2010

Countdown to the Holidays: 7 Tips to Spread Your Rich Media Cheer

This holiday season, be generous and spread your rich media everywhere...

As your customers shop in more channels across more devices, you need to be where they are—especially over the upcoming holiday shopping season. As you devise your game-plan for the holidays, here are some rich media tips to rev up your holiday planning.

1. Optimize your mobile site. The game-changer this holiday season is mobile. Shoppers will be using their cell phones to research, comparison-shop and browse as they navigate between the online and offline experiences. Thus, you need to engage your customers in mobile, so be sure your imagery is optimized for the small screen.

Rich, full-screen image zoom and videos are the most effective ways to browse or display products in mobile, according to a majority of the respondents in our mobile survey published in July.

2. Socialize your rich media. Social media is the other channel set to make waves this holiday season. Last year, comScore found 27% of US shoppers said social media has influenced their purchases, and this year that number should rise. Add depth and richness to your social media initiatives. We’ve seen merchants like Soft Surroundings post their online catalogue on Facebook to great effect; make your dynamic viewer sets embeddable in blogs to make your product pages go viral. Check out how Niche Modern did it.

3. Cover all the rich media bases on your PC commerce site. From full-screen imagery to zoom capabilities, dynamic rich media can deliver an all-around great online shopping experience. Offer great visualization tools from start to finish, beginning from the home page, to search-and-filtering and through checkout to support. Don’t forget to post your online catalog to help those in search of ideas. These shoppers love the product bundles or entire wardrobe ensembles to spark gift ideas. Beyond that, your site’s dynamic viewing capabilities should enhance and deepen the shoppers’ understanding of the product.

On category pages, layer on more interactive visual information, such as click-views, rollover alternative views and colorization. The key is to give shoppers as much product information as possible to give them the confidence to purchase. If they can examine the details of the bracelet, they will appreciate and understand the product craftsmanship and intricacies that much more. The more visual and textual information you can provide, the more you can also help set expectations, resulting in greater satisfaction and lower return rates. Check out our customer experience survey to learn which rich media and merchandising tactics has delivered for online retailers.

4. Enrich your online ad campaigns. Today, the challenge for marketers is to break through the noise and clutter with engaging and relevant offers and experiences so they can convert their audience into buyers. One way to do this is to increase the relevance of your online ads and promotions with a customized, dynamic experience. From animated banners to video ads, connect with your audience using rich media, and don’t forget to tie your offers to CRM to deliver the relevant content to the right audience at the right time. Personalizing ads with relevant information related to geography or weather can also score big points

5. Use videos to convert. Shoppers love online videos, and their popularity continues to grow. That’s good news for retailers because video’s persuasive powers are indisputable—conversion improvements can be as high as 140% after shoppers view a product video, according to data from our customers. Moreover, video can help to close the gap between the touch-and-feel store experience and the web. So, let online videos tell your product stories: Use them for product reviews, demonstrations and merchandising. Get our eVideo paper to learn more best practices.

6. Invite user generated content. The voice of real customers lends credibility and authenticity to your brand like nothing else. With 64% of social media users somewhat or completely trusting blog posts by people they know, compared to 36% for posts by a brand, the path to building trust in your brand should involve actual customers. So, invite your customers to share their experiences with videos or pictures.

7. Let shoppers have fun creating a one-of-a-kind gift. One of the hottest trends in retail continues to be the growing trend of co-creation or mass customization—letting customers design and customize their consumables using online product configurators. These intuitive visualization tools guide users through each design decision, allowing shoppers to see what they’re getting before the product is made. They create a memorable experience for the buyer and one-of-a-kind gifts for the receiver. To learn more about product configurators, download our paper.

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[1] Invoke Solutions study, as cited by eMarketer, July 29, 2010

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August 18, 2010

Two-Timing? Three-Timing? Serve 'em all with Single-Source Imagery

Did you know Scene7's dynamic sizing capabilities allow you to serve rich experiences across key digital channels, from web to email to mobile—all using a single set of imagery?

This means even the smallest brands can put themselves on equal footing with their larger competitors and reduce their time to market, whether kicking off an email campaign, or launching a downloadable mobile app. The beauty of dynamic sizing is that with one high-resolution image source, you can create all the derivatives for every need across your digital portfolio. By making a simple change to the image source URL call, you can instantly optimize the image for the digital media you’re working with.

K2 Sports, the ski manufacturer, for instance, uses Scene7 to serve high-impact imagery on its website. To ramp up its mobile presence quickly, it dynamically re-sized its master source images for optimal display and faster loading on the small screen.

Using dynamic rendering capabilities, you effectively eliminate the incremental image production costs associated with launching new digital properties or campaigns. The other benefit of rendering single source image is brand consistency; by using only one master image, there are fewer quality control issues to contend with.

To learn what your peers are planning and doing in mobile, we invite you to download our newest survey: Adobe Scene7 2010 Mobile Commerce Survey: Are You Dialed In?

And don’t forget to tell us how you’re using Scene7's dynamic sizing to get your digital initiatives off the ground quickly!

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August 12, 2010

The Race to Mobilize Accelerates. Are You First, Last or Middle-of-the-pack?

What a difference six months makes!

When we wrapped up our customer experience study this January, just below 20% of respondents said they were planning to deploy mobile commerce. Six months later, in our first annual mobile commerce survey, 62% of the respondents told us that commerce was going to be one of their strategic mobile executions. That’s a significant leap. Granted, the respondents in our latest survey skew towards North America, compared to the more globally dispersed respondents of the earlier survey. Nonetheless, it is undeniable that businesses are recognizing mobile as an important marketing and selling channel.

We also found that the vast majority of businesses view mobile-optimized websites as their strategic entry point for this emerging channel. This is enlightening, considering all the hype around downloadable mobile applications. For all the love that digital marketers, tech bloggers and reporters show towards apps, the survey results clearly suggest that businesses consider mobile websites as the dominant touch-point for mobile commerce.

The survey uncovers many more findings, including which rich media features businesses will be launching over the coming year to ramp up their m-commerce initiatives. This is an area that should see substantial growth, as leaders like eBay and Amazon have already ploughed ahead, racking up billions in sales from online purchases made with mobile devices.

Check out the survey and see how well your plans and thinking align with the consensus. Are you ahead or behind? Tell us what you’re doing and what is working—or isn’t!

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August 05, 2010

How Far "Embed" Will you Go with your Media?

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Niche Modern wants to go far with all kinds of media--rich, social, earned. No wonder-- whenever the lighting designer and manufacturer gets published mentions by fans, bloggers, or trade journalists, its site traffic inevitably spikes. That's big for a small start-up like Niche Modern, which has limited marketing budget.

With an eye to courting bloggers and journalists, Niche Modern makes it easy and compelling for publishers to showcase its visually stunning lighting products.

Niche Modern provides third-party publishers with code that allows them to embed a dynamic viewing experience of its content directly on their sites. For example, Better Living Through Design embedded this Niche Modern mixed media viewer on its blog to great result.

Thus, blog visitors not only see Niche Modern's entire product image set, as intended, but they can zoom and pan on each lighting product, plus, see alternative, in-context images of the lighting wonders applied to a variety of setting, from open kitchens to intimate dining rooms. There's also a slider mechanism that users can click to see the full range of the product thumbnails.

What's great about the embed feature is it reduces the risk of bloggers mucking up the brand, as the entire Niche Modern branded experience is seamlessly lifted to a third-party site. This means Niche Modern can extend to any site the up-market positioning it has worked hard to build, ensuring their products are showcased in their best light with all the viewing tools that spur prolonged gazing, admiration and engagement.

The benefits add up quickly: The more sites that are linking to Niche Modern, the higher its search rankings will become.

The other big win of course is that businesses with few marketing dollars no longer have to pay loads of money to build awareness. Imagine how much Niche Modern would have had to spend to get the same number of people to pay attention through advertising, versus reaching them through blogs and other social media outlets.

Read more about Niche Modern.

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July 28, 2010

Can Every e-Business Use the Visual Configurator? We think so.

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You don't have to be a seller of custom goods to use the visual configurator. Yes, these online visual configuration tools are popular with businesses that offer user-designed custom goods, because they allow customers to see photorealistic images of a product as it's being configured in real-time.

But visual configurators also have compelling back-office applications that any business would find useful. For example, employees can use the configurator to personalize and order their business cards. Salespeople can use the configurator to tailor their presentations, eCatalogues, product data sheets and other selling tools. They can layer the prospect's logos on a product, enter their direct contact information, and select the appropriate content options that make their pitch more relevant and compelling. The configurator could also guide the user's content selection by stating the ideal business conditions for each option.

Retailers can use the configurator to localize their signages and in-store displays using pre-approved online marketing templates. Chain operators can protect brand integrity by providing their local stores with corporate-approved templates and assets, using the visual configurator as the online interface to specify content and promotions suitable for their local retail audience.

The scope of visual configurator's commercial application is also broad. From monogrammed wine glasses to custom-built bicycles, the visual configurator can serve up accurate renderings of how the user-designed or personalized product will appear at delivery, alleviating buyer anxieties and reducing the risk of buyer's remorse. As an engagement tool, visual configurators are also compelling; increasing numbers of manufacturers are using them to enrich their online experience and to drive foot traffic to their dealers and retail outlets. By enabling a fun and immersive design experience, visual configurators are sure to guarantee deep interaction with the product and the brand.

To learn more about the multi-faceted visual configurator, download Adobe Scene7's new white paper, Visual Configurator: The Killer App for Mass Customization.

Lastly, tell us how you're using the online visual configurator in your business.

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June 09, 2010

Socialize Your Rich Media to Drive Sales

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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.

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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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