7 March 2011

The Rules of Engagement: NZ Website Study Finds Plenty of Room for Improvement

Wellington — March 7, 2011 — A study of 50 popular New Zealand websites released today has found that kiwi businesses could be doing more to engage and interact with their customers online.  The Engaged Web in New Zealand Report analysed 50 popular websites to see how they took advantage of interactive tools such as blogs, social media and online communities.

While 73% of the websites benchmarked featured an online community, the majority of these were using Facebook or Twitter.  46% of these major sites did not have a blog and only 42% allowed visitors to share website content. 

In general, the websites made strong use of multimedia (80% of websites), personalisation (86% of websites) and sticky content (98% of websites), but lacked other forms of engagement.  Email, phone and web forms were still the most commonly advertised contact channels, despite the rise in popularity of online channels such as Facebook and Twitter.  60% of the sites promoted their Facebook page on their homepage.

Entertainment, Shopping and Classifieds, and News and Media websites were most likely to have engaging features, while Government and Food and Beverage sector websites were found to be less engaging. 

Intergen’s Web Strategist, Giles Brown, says while many of New Zealand’s most popular websites strive to continually improve the level of engagement they provide, many other sites are still too static and are missing opportunities to do business online.  “These were some of New Zealand’s most popular websites.  They attract huge audiences, but in some cases they aren’t allowing users to interact through the tools many people would expect such as blogs, communities or social media.”

“The best websites are those that stay restless and continually improve themselves,” says Brown.  “There is no such thing as a finished website, and these interactive tools allow businesses to constantly update their content and engage with their audience. In many ways, launching or relaunching your site is easy, it’s what’s you do in the weeks and months that follow that counts. ”

“While there are some excellent websites, many organisations are still stuck in a ‘project delivery’ mindset, where their website is seen as something they ‘do’ rather than something they should ‘nurture and grow’.  This is a dangerous position to be in.  The online environment is an incredibly fickle and transitory place, so if your website isn’t moving with your audience, they can and will go elsewhere.” 

The full report, available at www.intergen.co.nz, identifies many best practices which are often straightforward and easy to implement.

The Engaged Web in New Zealand Report used 19 criteria to benchmark the five most visited websites in New Zealand in ten different industries according to data from Experian Hitwise’s online tracker for the week commencing February 12th, 2011. 

“Online has gained tremendous growth in the past 6-12 months here in New Zealand,” says Christian Sykes, Experian Hitwise New Zealand.  “As it continues to outpace the growth of other sales channels, the commercial significance of providing customers with an effective and engaging digital experience can’t be overstated. With businesses of all shapes and sizes now viewing online as a complex but substantial opportunity, the timing of this study couldn’t be better.”

The Engaged Web Report has previously been conducted in the United Kingdom and Australia by Intergen’s partner Web Content Management provider, EPiServer.

Popular websites from these sectors were analysed for the report: Automotive, Business and Finance, Education, Entertainment, Food and Beverage, Government, Health and Medical, Lifestyle, News and Media, and Shopping and Classifieds.

 

You can download the Engaged Web in New Zealand Report from www.intergen.co.nz/engagedweb.

 

About Intergen

Intergen is New Zealand’s largest dedicated Microsoft solutions provider, with more than 250 staff delivering information technology solutions across Australasia and the world. Its key offerings include portals, content and collaboration solutions, web strategy and delivery, user experience design, Microsoft Dynamics financial and relationship management, custom software development, management consulting and hosting services.

 

About Experian Hitwise

Experian Hitwise is the leading online competitive intelligence service. Experian Hitwise gives marketers a competitive advantage by providing daily insights on how 25 million Internet users around the world interact with more than 1 million websites. This external view helps organisations grow and protect their businesses by identifying threats and opportunities as they develop.

For up-to-date analysis of online trends, please visit Hitwise at www.hitwise.com/nz

 

For more information, interviews or contributed articles please contact

 

Katy Sweetman
Communications Manager
Intergen
04 472 2021
021 955 303
katy.sweetman@intergen.co.nz


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