Investments Rise in Rich Media, SocNets, Mobile

March 30, 2009

Web commerce businesses this year plan to invest in the delivery of new rich media and merchandising features, as well as social networking, mobile, and personalization applications to enhance online customer experience and drive conversions, according to the third annual Adobe Scene7 survey from Adobe Systems, Inc.

The survey, which was run in conjunction with industry trade associations and online publications located around the world, found that more than 20% of all respondents have deployed blogs, RSS feeds, user ratings/rankings/comments, and syndicated content:

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Comparing these results with the Scene7 2008 survey on deployed features, blogs, RSS, and user ratings significantly rose in usage (up to a 40% increase), Adobe found.

Moreover,? respondents are planning to deploy the following features in the coming year:

  • Blogs (32%)
  • User ratings, rankings and comments (31%)
  • 360-degree spin (29%)
  • Catalogs & circulars (28%)
  • Podcasts or live video feed (28%)
  • Product comparisons (27%)
  • Videos (27%)

Respondents indicated that increased clicks, usage and conversion rates remain the top metrics used for measuring effectiveness of deployed features. This, together with revenues and order size metrics, are used for measuring effectiveness of online marketing efforts.

Additional survey findings:

  • 92% of all respondents will be conducting customer experience projects within the coming year. Compared with last year, when more 53% were planning new projects within six months, this year’s projects have shifted to the second half of 2009.
  • When analyzing only the rich media/merchandising area, the top four rich media features deployed, representing approximately one-third of all respondents, were (in order) lifestyle imagery, alternative views, audio/animation, and zoom; while the top four most effective features were zoom, visual filtering & advanced search, lifestyle imagery/photos, and search landing pages according to worldwide respondents having deployed or planned these features.

adobe-scene7-survey-rich-media-merchandising-features-2009.jpg

  • Globally, the highest ranking planned rich media features for 2009 were 360-degree spin, online catalogs, podcasts, product comparisons, and videos, each with over 25% of respondents. The greatest adoption of planned vs. already deployed rich media features are in the areas of product comparisons, podcasts, 360-degree spin, mix and match, and 3-D visualization.
  • Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) had the use of microsites/brand boutiques as one of its top deployed features, higher than zoom. For zoom, EMEA was significantly lower in deployment rate (21%) versus North America (36%).

“Web marketing continues to be an area of investment and innovation because in challenging economic times it can deliver high-impact marketing programs that can be easily and immediately measured,” said Doug Mack, VP of consumer and hosted solutions at Adobe. “More than 90% of our survey’s respondents are planning to invest in new rich media and social networking technologies to ensure their brands and products stand out on the web.”

About the survey: The “Adobe Scene7 2009 Online Customer Experience – The Next Generation Survey“(registration required) received 474 responses from brand-name retailers, as well as agencies, media, manufacturers, and high-tech companies worldwide that sell a variety of products and services online. Retailers represented the highest number of responses, representing more than 22% of the total.

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