This is a guest post by Tom Daly.
Design, user experience and social media friendly features continue to drive web development but the single most important factor will always be information architecture.
Agency billing is a complicated beast. Or perhaps not.
The need to inflate billing to the maximum level has led to various agencies pitching and creating campaign sites. After all, the design and development of a site to house your innovative content is certainly going to boost your revenue by $20 000 – $50 000.
If you are creating campaign sites you do not deserve your client for the following reasons:
1. You are creating temporary inbound links to the e-commerce infrastructure.
2. You are creating dead links. Click-happy users all over the word will link to your campaign site and these will become dead links. (Common practice is indeed to setup a redirect however serving me content I don’t expect or want is as bad as a dead link).
3. You are trying to take a site from 0 unique visitors to a substantial figure rather than hosting on the brand site and benefitting from an existing visitor base.
4. Your client’s campaign site will hang itself slowly. As Burberry‘s “Art of the Trench”1 and Tiffany’s engagement ring campaign sites know: substantial hype is created and unique visitors come flooding in… Then the site matures, it becomes stale and dies a slow and painful death. Why not pay the Sartorialist to shoot additional content to make it seem somewhat alive – I hear every blogger has their price these days?
5. Commerce and content should be interwoven. My purchase taking place away from the content that created gives me another reason not to buy. If you create the desire fulfil it right there and then.
I’m not a genius. You know perhaps better than I that a solid online campaign or social media initiative is going to drive conversion when you have your 4 C’s2:
Content + Catalogue (Shoppable Product) + Community = Mass Conversion
I believe any advances we see in e-commerce (and it’s all about money) will be in the first individuals to question the traditional architecture an an e-commerce site. Through new content and design we are all seeking to shorten and alter site information architecture.
Hence, seek to integrate your ever-evolving / long lasting campaigns into the information architecture of the existing site framework. It’s better for everyone.
Tom Daly is a digital consultant with a passion for e-commerce integration, content strategy, and social media.