Are you familiar with circulars? You know those advertising inserts you often find falling out of your newspaper? Just in time for back-to-school shopping, Microsoft Advertising is unveiling new localized deals through an interactive online circulars experience as part of MSN Local Edition – http://deals.msn.com. This is good news considering a recent Burst Media survey (as reported by MediaPost) shows that the Internet will be a key shopping tool for back-to-school consumers, with nearly half (48.9%) of respondents saying they go online to research and/or purchase products to get ready for the school year. In addition, 47.1% of respondents reported they are influenced by online advertisements geared toward the back-to-school season.
Our circular page features Silverlight and DeepZoom technology, which will provide an immersive consumer experience. For instance, visitors to the site can:
- Rotate through various circulars all on one screen
- Browse and ‘flip’ through pages just like with traditional circulars
- Search for products across all the circulars at once
- Zoom in on products within a circular at a high resolution
- Hover over to learn more about a specific product, including reviews on Bing shopping
- Add items to a shopping list
- Find retailer locations using Bing Maps
- Share finds with others through social media like Facebook, Twitter, and Windows Live
- Link to a retailer’s site to purchase a product online
The circulars will refresh as often as retailers update information in ShopLocal (who is providing the back-end data for our circular experience) – usually weekly. Circulars that are not current will not be visible, ensuring that consumers are always browsing fresh content. Additionally, since the destination site is geo-targeted, only relevant circulars for a consumer’s location will be shown. That means a shopper in Honolulu won’t see an ad in the online circulars for a snow shovel that a consumer in Boston might see.
We are looking forward to evolving future versions to leverage more of our assets, including mobile components, to deliver the best experience for both consumers and advertisers. Advertisers should contact their Account Executives if they want to get involved and for more information.
Happy online shopping!