We revisit this topic occasionally, with the desire to challenge our customers to give the digital publications occasional strategic placement. Time and again they see marked improvement when the online version of their print material is promoted in conjunction with the print hitting the streets. To help out, we thought we’d take a quick look at the premier locations for placement based on current web site design trends. Keeping in mind that the best websites are built responsively and recent Comscore study showed mobile commerce was up 40 percent in the 1st Qtr of 2016 compared to the 1st Qtr of 2015. More results of the study can be found in Sourcing Journal Online.

On The Page Is Still Better Than Build It & They Will Come

Obviously from the top to the bottom of a single page, we can easily identify the areas that perform the best. Above the fold is optimal and most sites will rotate the important content to the top(1). However, the scroll or swipe is so prevalent that maybe the secondary position(2) on the site where the it’s just beginning to peek onto the screen may exceed your expectations without taking away the prime real estate of that top banner. Ease of navigation is still the cornerstone of website design and heat maps continue to show high activity in the top toolbar. Those locations are usually locked in pretty early in your overall website design. Your average webmaster is not likely to commit a top level navigation element for the digital catalog. However, there’s usually room to be had for a small call out(3) in that space. If you already have a responsive website and that call out gets in the way, your web designer should be able to quickly determine the screen size where that element needs to drop out.    

Never leave a good man behind, especially one that works well on mobile.

Okay, you’ve elected to drop the call out to the digital catalog from your mobile optimized version. Fair enough, but we continue to see strong growth in the performance of the mobile version of the catalog. Dropping your digital publication entirely from the mobile experience may suggest that the pages don’t look great on a mobile device. In fact with the ease of zooming and higher resolution screens on current mobile devices the images and text look great while all the functionality is retained. So go ahead and use that mobile menu(4) to give users access to the catalog. We’ve seen it grouped with other shopping tools or creating a navigation option for it in the drop down menu.

Sharing is caring or at least it’s finding shoppers where they are at.

Omni-channel is maybe an over used buzzword today, but when it fits…  Simply put, getting the catalog into the hands of your shoppers no matter where they find it is always a good practice. There’s really two ways to accomplish this, the first is posting it on your relevant social media outlets(5a). Our crop and share tool empowers marketers to share images with links to that product in the catalog. Go ahead and build that Pinterest Board with a collection of items from the latest catalog or create an ideabook on Houzz to showcase those items that are going to grab your users attention. Taking it to the natural extension of social media, you have the opportunity to engage users in an online conversation(5b). If you are using any tools to capture references on social media, you can respond with a link to the online publication. The digital catalog can prove more relevant than simply a link to the site because it’s current and ready to browse. Do you really know the exact product that Twitter user is looking for? Sharing the digital catalog provides greater impact because it’s not the standard link a user would expect.

Do you have more examples of placing your digital publication that has driven more activity and consequently more revenue? Please share in a comment below.

Written by Mark Thomas