Is there any correlation between the level of interactivity on a website (through the use of video, clickable content, etc) and conversion rate?
It is widely recognized by marketers that dynamic and interactive content, from videos to games to special calculators, are vital to drive both web traffic and conversions. While video is the most effective type of dynamic content, increasing conversions by an average of 80%, even adding a simple rotating image can increase conversions by 30% or more. Below you will find a deep dive of our findings.
WHAT DOESN'T WORK
In today's world, it is utterly useless to use generic, stock images and banners that are irrelevant to your customers. While high-quality, relevant photography can add impact to one's landing page and break up the dullness of text and well-chosen images of the product being sold are vital to converting sales, 86% of consumers are "banner blind," and the other 14% are very likely to have ad blocking software enabled. "Consumers have been conditioned to completely ignore anything that resembles an ad on websites." As a result, image-based display ads have only a 1% click-through rate.
Interactive and dynamic websites--or more specifically, landing pages--increase average click rates by 50% and conversion rates by 40% by extending the interaction of visitors to the site. The power of interactive content to increase conversions has been known for some time. A 2014 study shows that interactive content, including apps, assessments, calculators, quizzes, and so forth, generate conversions "moderately or very well 70% of the time, compared to just 36% for passive content."
The type of interactivity makes a difference. For example, Forbes reports that embedding a video on one's landing page "can increase conversion rates by 80%." However, this is largely affected by the type of product being sold: Gifts and electronics see the highest increase in conversions from video (113% and 101%, respectively) while personal care products see the least (14%). Forbes also states that 90% of customers say that product videos help them to make purchasing decisions and that adding video to marketing emails can boost click-through rates by 200-300%. As a result, 87% of online marketers currently use video content in their digital marketing strategies.
Case studies of specific companies back up the above claims. A company called EyeView increased conversions by 86% simply by embedding a video in their landing page which played only for first-time visitors. Effective dynamic content is not limited to embedded videos: DueMaternity.com reports that simply adding a 360 degree rotating image resulted in a 27% conversion lift, and Golfsmith.com reports that the same increased their conversions by 30-40%.
TYPES OF INTERACTIVITY
While videos are the most effective type of interactive content for generating conversions, they aren't the only option. Quizzes, like the Red Cross's "Could you save a co-worker's life?" quiz, are not only attention-grabbing, but often fun to take while simultaneously promoting the product or service being offered. Short, fun trivia or puzzle games can tap into an audience that is in a mood to unwind. Surveys can provide your audience with not only a feeling you are listening to them, but also provide valuable marketing information.
Interactive gadgets, such as special calculators, can draw more visitors to your site and thereby increase conversions. For example, The Good provides "The Good ROI Conversion Calculator," which shows visitors how increased conversion rates can impact the profitability of their website. As they explain it, "The ROI calculator is relative to our business, it’s helpful for visitors, it affirms our positioning as conversion experts, it’s simple to use, and it is a relationship-builder."
The design of surveys and opt-in forms, e.g., to join a mailing list, can be "an art in itself." Allowing the customer to customize their purchase, thereby participating in the design of their order, both increases the immediate conversion rate and builds customer loyalty. Another possibility is to provide a "share" button for Facebook, Twitter, or other social media, but this is far more effective if an inducement is offered, such as entry into a sweepstakes.
SOME RULES OF THUMB
The most important rule of designing and updating interactive content is to continually test the results via A/B or multivariate testing. Even minor tweaks like changing the color or location of an opt-in form can have a surprisingly large impact on conversions. Another important rule is to ask for only the information that you immediately need. Trying to obtain too much information all at once increases the "friction" and makes the customer's experience worse, thereby lowering the conversion rate. In many cases, it is best to ask for nothing more than the customer's email address in return for news, promotions, and tips & tricks.
It is no longer enough to use stock photographs and banner ads to drive traffic and conversions. To capture the attention of today's rather jaded consumer, smart marketers recognize the importance of dynamic and interactive content. While embedded video is far and away the most effective driver of conversions for most types of products and services, quizzes, games, calculators, and even surveys and opt-in forms are all an important part of the successful marketing toolkit.