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November 14, 2011

Flash, HTML5 and Scene7

You may have recently heard the news that Adobe plans to increase its efforts on HTML5, and to focus Flash on mobile applications (packaged with AIR) and PC browsing with an emphasis on use cases not yet addressed by HTML5, including premium video and console-quality gaming; and thus, will no longer develop Flash Player for mobile web browsers. Now, you may be wondering how this will affect Adobe Scene7.

Simply, the Adobe Scene7 dynamic media delivery solutions are aligned with this strategy. The current and future roadmap investments focus on standardizing on HTML5 to deliver engaging visual experiences on mobile screens.  With the recent launch of Adobe Scene7 5.5, we added a new HTML5 SDK for developing custom viewers for zoom and spin.  We plan to continue building on this foundation to extend to other viewer types and add more visually-rich capabilities to our HTML5-based viewers.  More details about the Scene7 HTML5 SDK are available in latest Scene7 product release notice.

For more information about the Adobe Flash Player news, check out the blog post by Danny Winokur, Vice President and General Manager of Interactive Development at Adobe.

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June 03, 2011

2011 Digital Marketing Trends Revealed

With online technology rapidly evolving and consumers’ appetites increasing for more relevant and engaging experiences, online marketers and merchandisers are continually challenged to keep up with the latest tools and technologies – but how do you know what the most effective tactics are?

Are you curious about where your peers are investing their digital marketing dollars to grow their businesses?

The answers are here! In our 5th annual quantitative, global survey: the Adobe Scene7 2011 Survey: Digital Marketing in the Next Decade. The survey reveals what businesses worldwide have identified as the most deployed, most popular and most effective online tactics across seven categories:

  • Rich media/merchandising features
  • Social media-based features
  • Mobile features
  • Mobile commerce visualization features
  • Personalization features
  • Digital advertising executions
  • Analytics

This year’s survey was expanded and for the first time measured deployment, planned deployment and effectiveness of analytics tools, mobile commerce visualization features and digital advertising. For 2011, social media executions along with mobile initiatives and rich media tactics are among the top planned with more than 25 percent of respondents planning to deploy features in these categories.

Digital marketers validated an ever-growing focus to further tap social media with an emphasis on social media analytics, which respondents cited as the top planned tactic (21 percent) and the third most deployed execution in the analytics category. Also, one out of three of the top planned initiatives and deployed executions are social-media based:

  • Building branded social community pages – planned: 25 percent; deployed: 40 percent
  • Advertising on social networking sites – planned: 25 percent; deployed: 22 percent

After years of hype and exploration, mobile is becoming a very viable commerce channel as mobile commerce enablement showed the highest year-over-year change in effectiveness (+124 percent) and was one of the top five tactics with the highest year-over-year increase in deployment (+13 percent).  And, for businesses with more than $100 million in annual revenue, four out of the six most effective features were in the mobile category:

  • Mobile advertising, promotions and bar-coded coupons to drive in-store or Web purchases (42 percent)
  • Mobile product comparisons (41 percent)
  • Address book integration for mobile (40 percent)
  • Check inventory status on mobile devices, in-store or Web (40 percent)

In addition to social media and mobile initiatives, interactive catalogs stand out as a key tactic in 2011. They were cited as the overall top planned tactic across all categories (27 percent) as well as the top planned for mobile commerce visualization (19 percent), and were ranked as the fourth most effective tactic overall.

How do these strategies line up with your 2011 initiatives?

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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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February 11, 2011

Mobile Shopper Insights for 2011

There’s no question that mobile is transforming the way consumers shop and interact with brands.  Yet, optimizing the m-commerce experience is still untapped, whether in a mobile-optimized site or via an application. By incorporating PC learnings from the past 10 years with continuous measurement and testing in this new, but increasingly growing mobile channel, retailers have the opportunity to stay ahead of their shoppers’ demands.

This year, U.S. mobile commerce revenues are expected to hit $5.3 billion, up 83% from a year ago, according to Barclays Capital. To help you capitalize on this burgeoning channel, we are pleased to deliver the Adobe Scene7 Mobile Commerce Survey: Mobile Shopper Insights for 2011. This report is the second installment based on key findings from our survey of 1,200 consumers and takes a deep dive into mobile commerce from the shoppers’ perspective.

Get your copy to gain actionable insights on mobile shopping behavior and preferences, including:

  • Who are mobile shoppers?
  • What are they buying?
  • How much time and money are consumers spending on mobile shopping?
  • What features and tools are most important for them to make a mobile purchase?

P.S. – In case you missed the initial report, Adobe Mobile Experience Survey: What Users Want from Media, Finance, Travel & Shopping, that measured mobile user characteristics, behavior, preferences, satisfaction levels and other experiential factors across four key consumer categories: 1) Consumer Products/Shopping; 2) Financial Services; 3) Media & Entertainment; 4) Travel; click here for your copy.

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January 26, 2011

Nine easy steps to online video success

As online videos continue to prove their ROI, we expect retailers to embrace this medium as never before. From showing the inner workings of a product to zeroing in on a dazzling product feature, there’s nothing like using video to bring merchandise to life for driving conversion.

Now, to help you get the most out of online video, we recently published a guide entitled Nine Easy Steps to Online Video Success. This paper contains best practices to help you realize rapid ROI, including how to streamline production and choosing the right products to spotlight.

The guide is written for merchants in any stage of video deployment. Whether you’re just getting started in video or have already deployed, we think you will find some useful tips here. Get your copy today and let us know what you think.

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December 09, 2010

Be counted and define the trends for 2011

Before you take off for the holidays, be sure to take our 2011 customer experience survey to ensure you are among the first to see what’s hot in online marketing and commerce for 2011.

For the last 4 years, our annual customer experience quantitative survey has correctly anticipated where the online marketing and commerce trends are headed. This year, expect no less. In fact, with more tools and tactics in social media and mobile that online marketers can tap, next year is shaping up to be a very exciting year where we will see a lot of clever and innovative campaigns and user experiences.

So, take the Adobe Scene7 2011 Survey: Customer Experience in the Next Digital Decade and benchmark yourself against your peers and find out which tactics are in next year’s toolbox for driving profitable shopping experiences and building loyalty.

By completing this survey by December 17th, you will be automatically registered to receive the results. All responses are confidential.

Last year, our survey, Online Customer Experience in the New Decade, drew nearly 550 responses from retailers, agencies, media, manufacturers, and high-tech companies worldwide. A sample of our findings:

  • 75% of respondents said they were planning customer experience projects in 2010
  • More than one-third of respondents cited multi-media viewing (combinations of videos, zoom imagery, or animations) as the most effective tactic across all features
  • Mobile and personalization features were the least deployed but had the highest planned growth rates
  • Personalization features ranked the highest in conversion impact

Don’t miss the chance to contribute to next year’s results. Please complete the survey by December 17th!

Thanks in advance and happy holidays!

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October 12, 2010

Fresh off the Press – New Mobile Consumer Survey!

A few months ago, we presented a survey that aimed to give a sense of how far along businesses are in their planning and execution of a mobile commerce strategy.

Now, we are pleased to present our first mobile consumer study, a comprehensive, first-of-its kind quantitative study that measures mobile user characteristics, behavior, preferences, satisfaction levels and other experiential factors across four key consumer categories: 1) Consumer Products/Shopping; 2) Financial Services; 3) Media & Entertainment; 4) Travel.

As the mobile user experience improves amid advances in wireless devices, growing numbers of users are migrating to the mobile channel to do everything from reading news to playing games to shopping. As a result, the mobile channel is becoming increasingly important as a key customer touchpoint.

The survey confirms some generally accepted thesis about mobile, including that most consumers prefer ad-supported mobile content to paid subscriptions (but that’s an easy extrapolation from our PC Internet experience).  But the survey does reveal some surprises, one being that users are not showing a preference for apps over the browser experience in most areas, despite the hype over apps and their reputation for delivering rich experiences. Intrigued? There are a lot more golden nuggets in this survey, including:

• When do users actually prefer an app experience over a browser experience?

• What are mobile consumers buying and spending?

• What’s the profile of an active mobile consumer by age, gender & device?

• Where are they spending their time? Which industry draws the most satisfied users?

Ultimately, we commissioned the survey with an eye to helping you gain actionable insights on how to improve the mobile user experience, as this channel continues to gain momentum in our multi-screen world. Let us know what you think.

Click here for your copy of Adobe Mobile Experience Survey: What Users Want from Media, Finance, Travel & Shopping!

P.S Keep checking this space, as we will be publishing a supplementary report on mobile shopping based on additional detailed findings derived from this study.

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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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  • 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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