Web Design Correlates With Purchase Power

Though beauty is in the eye of the beholder, new research shows that a Web site’s “quality” plays a significant role in driving purchase intent and consumer satisfaction.
 
Online ad network Undertone and its research partners at the IPG Media Lab show a “halo effect,” which exists for brands that run video ads on high-quality sites.
 
Using eye tracking, facial coding and panel surveys to measure reactions to video advertising, the research partners found that site quality emerged as the element that had the highest single contribution to purchase intent above player size, player placement and playback method.
 
Still, how do Undertone and IPG define quality? “Undertone relied on Trust Metrics site ratings to judge a site's overall ‘quality,’” says Jared Skolnick, VP of product marketing at Undertone. Trust Metrics rates sites on a scale of 0-100, in 20-point increments. "High quality" referred to sites scoring an 81 or higher on Trust Metrics' scale, while low quality is a 40 or below.
 
“These scores are determined by a site's publishing and editorial principles, including the caliber of the on-site content, and an ad's visibility on the page,” Skolnick said.
 
Undertone and IPG also found that auto-play ad units draw immediate attention and create higher awareness than click-to-play ads, but tend to elicit a more negative emotional reaction from viewers.
 
Buyers “should be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of different video formats,” said Skolnick.
 
“Some types of video drive higher awareness than others … but potentially at the risk of a negative brand association,” Skolnick added.
 
Click-to-play ads, by contrast, elicit more positive emotional reactions and drive higher engagement rates as well as greater intent to purchase, according to Skolnick.
 
Overall, nearly 50% of video satisfaction rates stemmed from site quality, while larger video players evoke higher levels of brand awareness among consumers and can mitigate the negative effects often associated with auto-play ads. The position of the video unit on the page was found to have little meaningful impact on an ad’s efficacy.

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