January 10, 2007, 12:00 AM

A strong market is developing for rich Internet features, new study reports

Richer product imagery, alternative views and gift suggestions were the most-frequently cited planned additions in a poll by Scene7. Home and product pages already deploy the most rich features on sites.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

 

More than 90% of marketers surveyed by Scene7 in a recent poll say they will be adding rich Internet applications over the next year to enhance the online user experience. Richer imagery, alternative views and gift suggestions were the most-frequently cited planned additions.

The survey, which polled retailers, catalogers and e-commerce sites, determined that the respondents considered the most effective rich Internet features those that involved improved product presentation. 78% of those surveyed cited zoom for that reason, while 76% cited visual product configurators, 75% cited color swatching and coloring, and 73% of respondents cited online monogramming with the same percentage citing alternative views.

Home and product pages were the site areas where rich Internet applications were most widely used already. The top areas where online marketers plan to add rich Internet applications in the future included the home or category page, browse feature, best seller and product pages. Respondents also cited shop by room, web to print and the gift registry as the most effective areas to add rich Internet applications to.

Most respondents said they measure the effectiveness of rich Internet applications through conversion rates, with measuring revenue increases and clicks or usage also tracked as metrics.

“As e-commerce matures, the importance this channel plays for companies doing any type of business online is increasing,” says Scene7 CEO Doug Mack. “Rich Internet features and applications are critical for companies to differentiate themselves and drive incremental revenue by offering users unique online experiences.”

 

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