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Animations to enhance online shopping

14 June 2012 - 12:49 by Simon Crisp

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A trio of companies have got together to make safe shopping online a more engaging experience, particularly when you are picking up groceries from your preferred e-commerce retailer.

Famous frozen food brand, Birds Eye, has recruited the designers at Jkr to develop an animated iteration of the company's mascot, otherwise known as Clarence the bear.

People who are shopping via grocery delivery service, Ocado, will see Clarence pop up when they browse to the fish finger section, which is clearly where you will find most of Birds Eye's products.

His presence is designed to engage with consumers and also strengthen the branding of Birds Eye through consistency and interactivity.

A fifth of all UK households now purchase food products via safe shopping online, so it is not surprising to see individual brands trying to carve a niche in this market, just as they do on the shelves of bricks and mortar supermarkets and stores across the country.

This initiative is being piloted for a period of just three weeks, with spokesperson, Pippa Dunford, saying that the Birds Eye brand has already experienced a 22 per cent expansion in the online market space, which it hopes to boost further via animated in-browser elements like this.

Dunford said that she was aware that animations could end up being intrusive and detrimental to the actual experience of online shopping. As such, Birds Eye and Jkr have worked hard with Ocado, to ensure that Clarence is seamlessly and unobtrusively integrated into the site, while still having the desired impact upon shoppers.

If this trial proves to be a success, then do not be surprised if you see much more of this sort of thing in the future, although consumers can only hope that such features do not become the e-commerce equivalent of Microsoft Word paperclip; something to be avoided.