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New Vendors designed to improve sales PDF Print E-mail
Skidz Partz - Announcements
Written by Skidz Tweak   
Wednesday, 08 September 2010 06:26

Yesterday I revealed some new vendors for the store on Skidz Isle. Right now there are only two products using them (the TMat Organizer, and the Fire Pit,) but I am hoping to convert over one product a day. These vendors were designed and built by myself with some ideas I have been wanting to implement for a long time now. So I wanted to write something up on my design choices and get feedback from you all.

About the Vendors

Let's do a quick look at the functionality before I start talking about design choices. When you touch the vendor two sides of the box pop out at you, exposing two menus (see image above):

  • Buy - Just tells you that you can right click and choose pay from the menu to buy.
  • Buy For a Friend - Prompts you to say your friends name, if the person is found it will then let you buy the product for them. The item is sent directly to them. You can also include a custom message when it is sent.
  • Questions - This prompts you to say a question, and sends it directly to me.
  • Tell A Friend - Sends a message off to your friend telling them about the product.. It also sends them a notecard as well as a landmark to the store. I do not retain these names, nor do I spam them later or anything.
  • Notecard - Sends you the products sales notecard.
  • Video - Starts up the video with web-on-prim, as well as gives you a link to the video, in case you're not using a viewer that has web-on-prim.
  • See It - Displays a holo model of the item being sold. It also plays an audio file that says something about the product.
  • When you buy an item, it prompts you afterwards, "Would you like to buy one for a friend at 50% off?" I am hoping this will create more good will in the community and help spread the word about my products in Second Life.
Design Choices

The overall goal with these vendors is to improve sales. I thought it would be nice to share my design choices to inspire others, and well as get feedback. So let's look at some of my design choices:
  • Communication - I took full advantage of every type of communication. Video, Sounds, Images, Notecards, Text, Web, and more. I had to force myself to remember that each one of these methods is available to me for getting whatever point across.
  • When someone purchases an item, it gives them a chance to buy a second copy for a friend at a saving of 50%. I did this for many reasons, but mostly:
    1. It creates good will for yourself towards your customers.
    2. It creates good will for your customer towards his friend.
    3. Spreads the word of the product and Skidz Partz in Second Life. - If I am lucky the product will be delivered to someone that has never even heard of Skidz Partz, and is now exposed to it.
  • Up-selling - If I have multiple version of the same product and someone does not buy the fullest version, you can ask them if they would like to buy the fuller version for X amount more. It's like when you go to the movies and you buy a medium popcorn, they always ask if you would to get the large for just 25 cents more. This is a very common experience in the real world, but I have never seen it used in Second Life.
  • Leads management - Every time someone takes a look at the product and does not buy, this is a lead for a purchase. Tracking this information is critical to improving sales, and there are several ways I could take advantage of it. 
    1. Send them a coupon if they don't purchase in a given time.
    2. Follow up, ask them if they had any questions on the product that didn't get answered at the time.
    3. Notify them when the product is on sale. I don't know if I will ever do this. I think the wishlist (see below) is better suited for this.
  • Chat communication - I made sure all text chat went through IMs instead of open chat. The messages still appear in the local chat window, but only the individual that it was intended for can see it. This ensures that two people will not get confused by messages intended for someone else. This is a slow process, but you can use a secondary script to do this.
  • Implementing web-on-prim - In the new Viewer 2.0,you have a powerful tool, web-on-prim. I took full advantage of this for video and web. You can actually watch video right on the vendor itself. But since viewer 2.0 is as popular as a slug, I also had to implement alternatives.
  • I designed in the ability to accept coupons. Coupons can be used to draw people in. Give someone a coupon and they are at least going to look to see what the product is. There are many security considerations to take into factor with coupons as well.
  • Displaying the information in a clear fashion - The name of the product is clearly marked on top of the vendors with its permissions, prim count, and price. These are the four most important things of any product being sold, so I wanted them to stand out above everything else, and they are always displayed.
  • Add to Wishlist - Wishlist are not fully implemented just yet. But this simple button allows you to add a item to a list of things you want. I can then maintain that list forever and let you know when something goes on sale, or send that list off to several friends in hopes that one of them will buy it for you.
  • Instead of dialog menus like most vendors, I used prim menus. With the new detection functions in Second Life, I am able to do this with fewer prims compared to possibilities a year ago. However, it is a design challenge with vendors when doing this. I had to consider that more than one person might be using the vendor at any given time. Since all vendors have the same menus, it reduces texture load time as well.
  • Hiding the menus when no one is using the vendor - Having several vendors out with a lot of buttons everywhere can look overwhelming to some. To help alleviate this, I hide the buttons until the vendor is touched, or until someone gets near it. 99% of all vendors in Second Life don't have any extra buttons like these, so individuals are used to just touch vendors to get a menu anyway.
  • I made sure the item being sold is displayed prominently with a large picture of it. I know this sounds like common sense, but my last box top design really fell short here. It is also important to design the image for the web as well. There is a perfect proportion for getting the image to display as large as possible on Xstreet Market place (800x600), and I wanted to make sure it used this. Don't over crowd the image with too many features listed or other text.
  • Recommending other items after a purchase - And finally as a purchase wraps up it is always good to recommend other products that fit well with whatever was just purchased. This could lead to another sale.
  • Bundle deals - With bundle deals I am able to prompt the person after a purchase if they would like to buy a second product at a discount. I have not enabled this on the vendors just yet.
As you can see, I put a lot of thought into these over the years. If you have any other ideas on how I can improve my sales, I would love to hear from you! :)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 September 2010 10:04
 

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