[UPDATED 08/15/16] Geniuslink now supports the Interstitial!
The interstitial (a.k.a. a Choice Page) is a handy tool that has potentially far reaching implications for marketers promoting physical or digital products in the complex world of e-commerce.
An interstitial is a web page that comes up when someone clicks a link to purchase a product. Instead of going directly to a website to purchase, the person who clicked on the link is brought to a page where they are given options of several different destinations where they can get to the item they clicked on.
How Does it Work?
When someone clicks on a link with an interstitial to purchase a physical or digital item, they will not be brought directly to a destination where they can find that item. Instead, they’ll be sent to an intermediary page where they can choose from multiple destinations where that item is available.
Below is an interstitial page that pops up after clicking on a link to hear a song. The page offers the user several different streaming platforms where someone can find this song.
Why Use an Interstitial?
We’ve all heard that the customer knows best, right? The beauty of an interstitial is that it allows consumers to choose where they want to buy products instead of marketers trying to dictate what we think is best for them. As much as we try to get inside the minds of our customers, we can’t know exactly how or where each customer wants to buy. Giving them the ability to choose may increase the likelihood of them completing a purchase.
Maybe you’re promoting physical products that are available in multiple e-commerce storefronts like Amazon, NewEgg, Ebay, and WalMart. Or like the above example, maybe you’re promoting music that’s available on both streaming platforms and digital storefronts like iTunes, Google Play, or Spotify. Giving the consumer the ability to choose their store of preference allows them to take the path of least resistance to having a great buying experience.
Are There Downsides to Using a landing page?
There are potential negative consequences of using an interstitial. Since you are requiring the user to take one more step to get to their end destination, they may be more likely to abandon. Generally speaking, the more clicks required for someone to purchase, the less likely they are to carry through with that purchase. In theory, you’re making the purchase easier with an interstitial by providing someone with the ability to choose their preferred storefront. Just be mindful of this when considering this tool.
Also, the design of the interstitial page may not fit with your branding. Since you’re relying on an intelligent link service to provide the page, you won’t have as much control of the design process as if you were creating it yourself.
Whether a user choice landing page could be beneficial or harmful to your marketing efforts ultimately depends on what you’re promoting, and how widely available it is in different storefronts. Certain products may perform better or worse with an interstitial, and if you’re not sure, test!
Where can I Find Intelligent Links with Interstitial Capabilities?
There are a few different services offering this feature, but most are focused on specific industries. For example, SmartURL and Linkfire are both intelligent linking services focused on smart links for music marketing. Another service, Authl.it, focuses solely on marketing ebooks. Here at Geniuslink, however, we have just introduced the User Choice Landing Page, which allows you to create an interstitial to any destination, within any industry.