7 Reasons a Digital Character Brings Value to Your Website

July 17, 2014 Dennis McGuire

What makes one website more memorable and likeable than another? 

The websites that make a favorable impression seem to strike a certain balance between visual aesthetics and user functionality, while also making the viewer’s experience engaging.

While there are a number of tactics to consider when enhancing your visitors’ experience, one idea to explore is the use of an interactive, digital character.  We are not talking about something like Clippy, but a highly realistic character that “lives” on your website and is customized via appearance, voice and interactions so that your visitor gets the most out of their visit.

Clippy is not a good avatar.

Here are seven reasons why a digital character can take your website experience – and its effectiveness – to the next level.  Digital characters:

 

 

  1. Make your site more memorable- A digital character can be thought of as your online brand ambassador.  By creating an emotionally warm experience through welcoming viewers, guiding their viewing experience and answering any questions, people are more likely to remember your website.
  2. Engage the auditory sense as opposed to just visual- Most websites employ only words to convey value propositions, special offers, etc. to visitors.  A digital character uses voice to help guide the website experience, which engages the visitor on another emotional level.
  3. Decrease page abandonment- When website visitors cannot find what they are looking for on your website, they leave and resume their browsing/shopping experience elsewhere.  Digital characters can be programmed to respond to certain keystrokes and then offer the viewer advice about finding the appropriate section, page or product.
  4. Lower shopping cart abandonment- Conservative estimates place shopping cart abandonment (the act of ditching your order mid-checkout) at 30%, while some peg the number at nearly 70%!  Whatever the actual number, the fact remains that your company’s bottom line will improve if more people complete the checkout process.  A digital character can be added to the checkout page to guide buyers’ next steps, direct them to Help Section, etc.
  5. Differentiate your website from competition- If you are in a competitive market (and who’s not these days?), it is smart to take advantage of every competitive edge you can find.  If your fiercest online competitors aren’t using digital characters, you have a great opportunity to be the leader and make your website more memorable than theirs.
  6. Create a unique viewer experience- We don’t need to tell you that websites face a tremendous amount of competition in attracting and holding a viewer’s attention.  Therefore, it is critical to capture his/her attention quickly and make a great initial impression.  Digital characters can do just that with their customized appearance, helpful tips and user-driven responses.
  7. Help direct viewer to calls-to-action- From connecting with you on social networks to buying a product, there is probably a primary call-to-action (buy our product) plus several secondary ones (join an email list, like us on Facebook, etc.).  A digital character can help emphasize your primary call-to-action so your most important goal is emphasized and viewers aren’t distracted by too many options or suggestions.

By thinking through these seven ideas and benefits associated with digital characters, you can begin to decide if exploring one makes sense for your company.  CodeBaby has been creating best-in-class digital characters for nearly 10 years, and we’d welcome the opportunity to chat with you about your website goals and needs.

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