Semester Two: Widgets and plugins

Widgets help to enhance web experiences and for marketing purposes can include pop-ups, event countdowns and promotional calendars. These widgets can help marketers by acting as customer relationship management tools (Ives, 2008) by adding additional value and content to a website, they help to convey personality and important events to the target market.

To discover which widgets they should use, Modus Novels conducted a survey amongst 40 individuals belonging to their target market.

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It is vital to note that none of the group voted they would like to see a promotions calendar or a voucher notification, stating that both would be unnecessary if they had the option to sign up to a mailing list which would email them with this information. This is a positive approach as it would reduce clutter on the website, something which too many widgets can cause. Following this information, 10 out of the 40 voted to have a mailing sign up option on the website homepage. Modus Novels have already developed an email marketing campaign and to increase the size of the mailing list, this would be a beneficial widget, where Modus Novels could then incorporate promotions and vouchers into the mailing list campaign. Another 10 out of 40 responded that they would like to see a welcome pop-up to the website, critically noting that most pop-ups create clutter and annoyance and it would be nice to have one which wasn’t geared towards making the visitor make a purchase, but rather making them feel welcome. This feature would critically add to the luxury aspect of the E-commerce store as many major luxury brands use staff to welcome visitors to stores. The most popular response was voted for by 20 out of the 40 respondents who stated they would like to see an event calendar which covered upcoming events in the fashion industry, such as fashion shows. Modus Novels believe this is a good idea as it adds additional value and content to the website outside of their blog, which may work the further create their ambition of a community feeling within their target audience and on their website. Following research Modus Novels have decided to incorporate the following widgets into their website, which will be present consistently throughout its operation.

  1. A welcome pop-up.

As part of their marketing strategy Modus Novels had already devised a welcome video for their social media channels, which they decided to embed into a pop-up widget as the visitor enters the website.

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This was done using a plugin called pop-up creator, which enables website owners to create pop-ups for their website featuring forms, social media boxes and video’s.

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It is vital to note that while pop-ups can be beneficial for business by increasing sales and subscriptions, too many can cause annoyance and deterrence from website visitors, as statistics show that 70% Americans get annoyed with unnecessary pop-ups (Shkalikova, n.d.). Critically Modus Novels should not place too many pop-ups on their website to avoid angry consumers, therefore they have decided to use only one pop-up to welcome visitors to their website. Which helps to reinforce the marketing strategy of developing a community within Modus Novels.

2. A opt-in mailing list

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The yellow box indicates the location of the mail list in the bottom footer. This was added based upon questionnaire research, yet also it is noted that opt-in mailing lists, which are visible on websites can increase mailing list size (Kuchinskas, 1999) by using willing consumers. These are customers who are interested in gaining and reading additional content from online businesses, meaning that e-marketing material will not go to waste unread. Modus Novels opted to use the Mailchimp plugin to create the subscription form widget. This choice was made as Modus Novels create and send out their email marketing campaigns through Mailchimp, and it would simplify the process of creating a larger mailing list to have the two integrated together.

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3. An events calendar.

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The yellow box indicates the location of the widget, being on the right-hand side of the footer. The decision was made to add an event calendar as it will add additional value and content to the website outside of the blog. Many companies may choose to include business events in a calendar, however Modus Novels have chosen to include a fashion events calendar, as discussed this will add additional content to the website and assist Modus Novels in making a connection with their market outside of selling products. For instance, a visitor may decide to visit the site to find out when Paris Fashion week is occurring, rather than to purchase a product. The calendar will be continually updated monthly, in line with any changes or additions to the fashion industry schedule. Modus Novels used a spider event calendar plugin to create this widget. Critically it was difficult to find a free calendar events widget which allowed a vast number of events to be added. Though Modus Novels may not have gained the appearance of the calendar they wanted, they did gain the functionality.

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In conclusion widgets are highly useful in providing a business with numerous additional functions and features, which in turn can increase website views and allow consumers to gain confidence and trust in a website. By using widgets, Modus Novels have furthered their marketing strategy of increasing website visitors and email subscribers alongside generating an emotional connection with their visitors through additional content and basic greeting messages.

References

Ives, N. (2008). Just in Case My Boss Asks Me During a Meeting, What Exactly Does ‘Widget’ Mean?. [online] Adage.com. Available at: http://adage.com/article/digital/case-boss-asks-a-meeting-widget/125718/ [Accessed 20 Apr. 2017].

Kuchinskas, S. (1999). Digital Impact to Unveil Opt-in E-mail Site. Adweek (Eastern ed.), 40(29), p.34.

Shkalikova, A. (n.d.). Do your pop-ups annoy customers? Here is how to check. [online] Webmeup.com. Available at: http://webmeup.com/blog/do-your-pop-ups-annoy-customers.html [Accessed 20 Apr. 2017].

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