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More rich media from manufacturers means more site testing for retailers
Manufacturers are adding more rich media to the merchandising content they share with e-retailers. That can boost conversions but it also increases the need for site performance testing, says Jed Alpert, vice president of marketing for WebCollage.
Chief Technology Editor
Manufacturers are adding more rich media to the merchandising content they share with online retailers. That can boost conversion rates but it also increases the need for site performance testing, says Jed Alpert, vice president at content syndicator WebCollage.
“We know that when consumers see enhanced marketing from brands, such as videos, product tours, 360-degree views and user manuals, sales increase for both the brand and the retailer by 6 to 25%,” he says. “But the sales opportunity hinges on the customer’s online experience. If a page loads too slowly or the content doesn’t appear, the customer is likely to click to a competitor’s site.”
Displaying manufacturers’ content on retail sites increases a retailer’s ability to engage shoppers with a broader range of images and helpful information on products. But retailers can also run the risk of displaying manufacturers’ content before being able to fully test how it will appear on their sites, Alpert notes.
To help ensure performance on sites with rich media content provided by manufacturers, WebCollage has teamed up with site performance management company Gomez Inc. to offer testing as a value-added service, Alpert says.
The Gomez service enables WebCollage to measure and track how manufacturers’ content performs on their retailer clients’ web sites by simulating how online shoppers interact with that content. Gomez, which operates with a global network of about 80,000 test locations, can run 24-hour tests to identify content availability and load times.
“We’ve been able to identify performance issues before customers or even the retailers have found them, so we can let retailers know ahead of time of any issue on their sites that might affect the performance of manufacturers’ content,” Alpert says.
WebCollage works with about 150 brands, including Sony, Chanel, Kodak, TomTom and Hewlett-Packard, and it serves content to more than 3,000 e-commerce sites throughout the world, including sites operated by Staples, Office Depot, Sears and Best Buy, Alpert says.