Six Questions to Determine Your Rich Media Readiness
One of my top pet peeves on Web sites is a cumbersome checkout process that requires me to flip back and forth between Web pages as I try to determine whether I filled out all fields properly, which shipping method is best for my needs and how to get a printable order confirmation form. If all these tasks could be fulfilled from one checkout page, I would shop online a great deal more often.
According to a new whitepaper from Resource Interactive, an interactive marketing and technology firm in Columbus, Ohio, my online shopping future looks to be much brighter. In The Tipping Point for RIAs, emerging technologies are discussed that already are creating a more intense online environment. RIA stands for rich Internet application, or Web applications that allow visitors a “more desktop application-like experience,” writes Resource Interactive. For example, any application that allows Web pages to be updated without requiring a page refresh or a call back to the Web server to get the next data set required is an RIA. Or, the retailer Gap Inc.’s QuickLook preference-based pop-ups and the “My Bag” drop-down windows that reduce its online customers’ need to scroll or to leave product pages when placing items in their shopping carts. Such technologies create a more user-friendly, speedy and productive Web site experience for visitors, which greatly enhances an online vendor’s chance of success in data collection and e-commerce activities.
But just because RIAs are here, doesn’t mean every Web site should employ them immediately. Resource Interactive offers the following litmus test to help you determine if your business and audience necessitate such an investment in your online offerings:
Answer the following six questions; give yourself the number of points assigned to each option:
a) Definitely—3 points;
b) For the most part—2 points; or
c) Not at all—1 point.
Question #1: Does my site include multistep processes that could be shortened or streamlined utilizing RIAs?
Question #2: Are my products or services highly configurable or customizable?
Question #3: Are my products or services a high-consideration purchase?
Question #4: Are my competitors implementing RIAs?
Question #5: Is my industry sector adopting RIAs at a pace that is impacting consumer expectations?
Question #6: Can my developers, designers, information architects and content creators take advantage of what RIAs enable? Do we have the requisite skill sets?
Tally your points, and see what your score indicates:
More than 15 points: Your business is ready for RIAs
9 to 14 points: Start your research and internal discussions now, because you’re getting close to a need for RIAs.
9 points or less: Look into the impact RIAs can have on your initiatives, but don’t worry about investing precious IT and marketing dollars yet.
Visit www.resource.com to learn more about RIAs, this whitepaper and its author, Resource Interactive.