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Bringing old world branding to internet sales
Posted By David Shamah On November 1, 2009 @ 12:00 am In | No Comments
Israel’s Webcollage is helping companies like Target, Kodak and Radio Shack to sell their products online using tried and true retail point-of-sale techniques on websites.
In our instant age, when information is available immediately, people tend to make instant decisions. Just one look is all most of us are willing to give – whether it’s a person, product or website that’s clamoring for our attention. The lesson: Make sure your image is sharp and your message is clear before putting yourself out there.
That goes double for companies trying to sell products over the internet. The competition, coupled with consumers’ extremely short attention span, makes it hard for a manufacturer to get potential customers to focus on a product, and especially on a message. And yet, with Israel’s Webcollage, large US companies like Target have increased online sales by as much as 30 percent, thanks to its point-of-sale (POS) Content Exchange program.
“One of the keys to increasing sales in any marketing forum is to control your message, to make sure consumers are getting the information you want them to know about what you’re selling,” Webcollage CEO Yehuda Doron tells ISRAEL21c.
“Webcollage allows manufacturers and distributors to present customers with their targeted message, across a wide range of sites – including their own sites, as well as retailer sites,” he adds.
With Webcollage’s web content integration network, companies can do what they do best – market to consumers, using an on-line version of the POS marketing techniques they know and love. Manufacturers or distributors can painlessly replace portions of retail web sites with their own content – pushing their message, offer, or other marketing method of choice, to their own specifications.
Transforming a retail site into a portal for your product
Webcollage’s innovative technology “pushes” the content from manufacturers’ and distributors’ websites onto the retailer’s site, turning the retail site into a sort of portal. Consumers get the full shopping experience as it was meant to be, making direct contact with the companies that make the products they’re interested in – just like in a real store.
“When a consumer is looking to buy, say, an electronic device like a Blu-ray disc player on-line, they’re most likely to go to a big electronics retail site, like Best Buy,” says Doron. “Instead of just browsing the listing at the site, Webcollage enables companies like, for example, Sony, to give customers the full experience they would get at the Sony site, complete with offers, messaging, branding, and anything else Sony would have at their site that would not necessarily be at Best Buy’s.”
Webcollage promises a seamless experience for consumers, a more effective method of online marketing for companies – and fewer headaches for web retailers, who now have less coding to do on their own sites. The best part, asserts Doron, is that companies only have to do their work once, because Webcollage can push and integrate their site segments with any retail site on the web. Hence the word “collage” in the name – the company fits in the pieces on sites all over the internet.
The result is a steady rise in online sales. “We have several marketing studies that show a consistent rise in sales of between 6 percent and 22% for companies we work with,” says Doron. “Sears and Target, retailers with whom we work in the US, showed an increase of sales for products covered by Webcollage technology of 22% and 30%, respectively.”
Webcollage’s marketing system is far better than the usual methods companies use to sell their products online. Many consumers find buying online cumbersome, and manufacturers aren’t so enthused about the most popular marketing methods anyway – most of which entail using paid search, like adwords, to drive traffic to a retailer’s site.
Bringing brick and mortar methods online
Doron says that fully three quarters of the large consumer electronics manufacturers in the world – like Sony – use the company’s technology to market products on the internet.
“Without Webcollage, there would be no way for companies to have a unified, targeted marketing program on the internet – there would be too many technical and marketing issues, interacting with retail sites, advertising teams, etc. Webcollage allows them to work out all those issues,” Doron explains.
In the brick and mortar world, companies can use the many proven marketing techniques that are known to increase sales – such as end-caps, shelf placement, pop-up displays and other POS marketing methods. Most important for manufacturers and distributors is that they can brand themselves the way they want to.
When a company, as opposed to a retailer, is leading the POS effort, a campaign is guaranteed to communicate exactly what it is supposed to. On retail websites, in the absence of these controls, companies have a much harder time penetrating the internet “noise” and reaching consumers.
While the idea of doing brick and mortar marketing on the internet sounds simple, building the platform to do the job was a complicated endeavor. Webcollage, with its headquarters in New York and development center in Tel Aviv, has been in business for 10 years, says Doron, although it’s only in the last three that business has really taken off.
“We have a really good relationship with companies in all sorts of market segments, especially in electronics and technology products,” he relates. “Companies trust us, and that trust has made it possible for us to grow significantly in recent years. After all, the companies we work with are trusting us with their reputations. If we weren’t helping them to enhance those reputations, they wouldn’t work with us.”
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