Products & Services

Over 90% of online merchants to add rich media and social networking functions in 2009

Rich media, social networking, mobile and personalization applications are at the forefront of online retailers’ purchasing plans for 2009, according to the results of Adobe Scene 7’s latest annual survey

The results of this year’s Adobe Scene 7 survey show that ecommerce companies are focusing their online purchasing on rich media and merchandising features, social networking, mobile, and personalization applications.

“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, vice president of consumer and hosted solutions at Adobe. “Over 90 percent 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.”

Key findings from the survey include:

  • 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.
  • The top four most effective features were alternative views, lifestyle imagery, zoom, and visual filtering/advanced search. 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%). Zoom and interactive tools received the most highly effective rates worldwide of those respondents having deployed or planned these features.
  • Globally, the highest ranking planned rich media features for 2009 were 360-degree spin, online catalogues, podcasts, product comparisons and videos — each with over 25% percent of respondents.
  • The greatest adoption of planned versus already deployed rich media features are in the areas of product comparisons, podcasts, 360-degree spin, mix and match, and 3D visualisation.
  • Approximately one-fifth of all global respondents have deployed blogs, RSS feeds, user ratings/rankings/comments and syndicated content.
  • User ratings/rankings/comments, URL sharing, user generated content, and blogs were ranked as the most effective, while syndicated content ranked lower in effectiveness. Over 30% claimed user ratings and blogs as their highest planned features. Comparing these results with the Scene7 2008 survey on deployed features, blogs, RSS, and user ratings significantly rose in usage (up to 40% increase), and blogs and user ratings remain the top planned features for 2009, as in 2008.
  • Although personalisation features had a low adoption rate, all falling below 15%, the trend remains flat or down for these features year over year. The top two features used are personalised stores and web-to-print applications.
  • Similar to personalisation features, there remains lower adoption of mobile features, which all fall below 11%. However, this is an increase over last year’s results of 5% usage rate. Mobile promotions used to drive to store or web was the highest deployed tactic. North America had a slightly higher deployment rate for personalisation tactics than EMEA.
  • Increased clicks/usage and conversion rates remain the top metrics used for measuring feature effectiveness. Both qualitative feedback and increased revenues metrics have risen in importance over the year, along with measuring increases in average order size.
  • 92% of all respondents will be conducting customer experience projects within the coming year. Compared to last year, where over 53% were planning new projects within six months, this year, perhaps due to economic climate, these projects have shifted to the latter half of 2009.

Readers can download a full copy of the survey findings from the Adobe Scene 7 website.