A recent marketing study featured in Time magazine found that 55 percent of web pages get less than 15 seconds of attention, and people start abandoning sites after just two seconds. Those are some cold, hard statistics for retailers trying to capture the attention of increasingly time-pressed and addled shoppers and, more importantly, keep them engaged all the way through an actual purchase. Making matters more difficult are the high costs involved with creating one’s own content and site upkeep or choosing a third party, template-based service where lengthy turnaround times and cookie-cutter designs are the norm. But there’s an alternative—so says Brian Rigney, CEO of Zmags, a subscription software service that allows retailers to easily create and manage their own sites by adding experiences that are interactive and directly shoppable. Dubbed “Powerpoint for the web,” the company’s Creator SaaS (software as a service) enables retailers to quickly add content to their sites with zero coding required. “People have described it as easy-to-use and quick to learn,” Rigney says. Here’s how it works: Users log into an online, server-based platform to access an interface that allows them to name and size each experience, add text, embed URLs and incorporate videos and animation—all with drag-and-drop widgets. It’s easy, and it’s quick. Contract signing to live content takes only a matter of days, Rigney says. Consumers can then browse through a retailer’s lifestyle shots, look-books, trend pages and editorials, and by clicking the plus-sign on a particular item, an option to purchase opens on that page. The program has been proven to drive conversion rates. For example, Rigney cites Boathouse, a mid-sized swim and apparel retailer with an online presence and 30 brick-and-mortar stores in Canada, who saw an 85-percent increase in conversion rates and increased dwell time (from an average of 30 seconds to upwards of five minutes) after switching to Creator. Brahmin handbags, he notes, saw an 111-percent increase in conversion rate after enlisting the software. This article was published in the December issue of Footwear Plus Magazine.
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