Half of online businesses plan to add “Web 2.0” online capabilities to their sites within the next six months, and over 93% intend to do so within the year, according to aÂ Scene7 study of retailers, manufacturers, agencies, and high-tech companies that sell products or services online.
New features likely to undergo the greatest growth (i.e., the biggest jump from current use to planned implementation) are mobile commerce (m-commerce), URL/widget sharing, and personalized messaging, the survey found.
Planned implementation of m-commerce was cited by nearly 25% of respondents, whereas just 5% now offer it.
Among new features, the following were rated the most effective:
- Alternate Views: 41%
- Zoom: 36%
- Personalized Stores (My Account, Profile, Favorites): 29%
- Microsites: 29%
- 360 spin: 28%
360-degree spin, considered one of the most highly effective features (about 28% say so), is the most underutilized (roughly 13% say they offer it).
Other popular features planned for 2008 are User Ratings, Rankings and Comments (36%), Videos – Merchandising, Advertising and Demonstration (35%), and Blogs (34%).
Most companies surveyed said they evaluate the effectiveness of new functionality by measuring conversion rates and clicks/usage, but more than 40% reported qualitative feedback and revenue to be important indicators as well.
“With online commerce growth rates predicted to decline, companies that continue investing to differentiate themselves and deliver compelling user experiences can gain market share over their competition,” said Doug Mack, vice-president of consumer and hosted solutions at Adobe.
“Rich and innovative applications enable businesses to further engage customers with more personal and compelling online experiences, which can ultimately increase conversions and revenues.”
About the study: The Scene7 Web 2.0 Experiences 2008 and Beyond Survey was conducted from Nov. 7 to Dec. 7, 2007. The key objectives were to identify and analyze what online businesses plan to do in the next year to enhance their user experience. The results were compiled based on responses from 347 companies representing a broad cross-section of product categories and selling channels.