Pre-Orders With Instant Gratification

We are pleased to announce that we now support album pre-orders with instant gratification download, or “IG” as the record companies call it.  This is a feature that has only been offered by iTunes until now. It involves your ability to pre-sell an album 2-4 weeks before its street date (depending on when the record company makes this available), while providing the consumer a track or two as instant gratification reward on the day of purchase. The rest of the album is then made available to the consumer at midnight on street date (from the “My History” page), and an email is sent to the consumer that day to remind them to come get the rest of the album.

Our content partners claim this feature drives nice sale spikes, so we look forward to working with you on deploying such promotions. While “pre-order” capability is likely to become a common practice on digital albums this Holiday season, a “pre-order with IG” involves specific promotions for very specific titles, where the record company goes out of its way to provide you with the IG opportunity, may it involve the single from the album or even some exclusive B-side track or video that other merchants don’t have.

Neurotic Media will work with you to bridge between your needs and interest and the record companies, and can help present you with special opportunities on a regular basis from record companies who are interested in promoting such special sale events to your unique demographics.

You can view a live example of pre-orders with IG at http://musicdownloads.borders.com. This feature is available for both Hosted Stores and API stores. API clients will have to code their system to accommodate a few specific changes to the Product Data, which we provide in a separate technical manual for your IT department.

Please work with your Neurotic Media Account Manager on the specifics involved in receiving such promotions from record companies.

Animated JQuery Feature Controls

We are pleased to announce the deployment of “Animated Feature Controls” for Hosted Store clients.  Below is technical information about what these new controls are about, and some examples. You can view a live example of these controls in use at http://musicdownloads.borders.com. If you are interested in adding these controls to your Hosted Store, please work with your Neurotic Media Account Manager on the specifics.

We constructed this optional service using Jquery technology instead of Flash or Java because Jquery today provides the most ubiquitous support (PCs, Macs, iPhones, Androids, iPads etc.), so your store will not show up with “empty windows” in it on consumers’ portable devices. It is also “light” for our servers to render out and for the consumer’s browsers to display.

Our new animated controls allow you to enrich your store visually and make it more entertaining and engaging. It also allows you to merchandise a lot more product on each and every page. Setting up these controls takes some skill (graphic designer / web master) at the get go, or you can inquire with your Neurotic Media Account Manager about using our help to do so. Once each control is set up, re-using it on various pages and adding products into each control on a regular basis will be similar to our static controls which you are already familiar with.

We created three animated feature controls that you may use to add to or replace existing, static feature controls in stores:

1. Animated Slideshow Banner: You can compose slideshow banners of any size you wish for any column of the store that you wish, and place those on any page that you wish. The slideshow can contain multiple JPEG slides (we recommend 3 to 5), and each image slide can be tied with a URL to a specific page in the store, such as a specific Product Page or Artist Page. This feature is perfect for announcing new releases on the home page of your store and on your genre pages or special theme pages. You can also control the “timing” of the slide show, how many seconds between each automated flip-over between the images. You may also provide the consumer with buttons and arrows to move between slides on their own. Additionally, you have the option to overlay a bar on top of each image with copy and transparent bar, separately from any copy you may have included in the JPEG itself when composing your banner. Note: Often times if you aim to compose an exciting new banner for a new artist release, we can ask the record company to create the banner for you, to spec. We’ll submit the dimensions you decided to go with in your slide show, and record companies normally can turn around a nice banner w/ your requested artwork and copy within 3-4 business days.

2. Animated Horizontal Feature Control:  You can replace static horizontal product feature controls (used in column 2) with animated ones that contain more than just the 3-4 album images that normally would fit into column 2. The animated control has left/right arrows and a “page position” toolbar, and you can basically have multiple “pages” of featured products in it. For example, a control that you normally set up with 4 albums horizontally can now have 16 albums in it. Only 4 show at a time, and you’d scroll left and right to see the rest.

3. Animated Vertical Feature Control: You can now replace static vertical product feature controls (used in columns 1 and 3) with interactive, tabulated feature controls that can contain 2-3 tabs in the same feature control. Each tab can display a different list type of products (songs, products, artists). You can control each tab’s naming and the design of the entire control (uploading tab JPEG, creating colored padding for it etc.).

In summary, your entire page can become 100% Jquery driven, leaving only deeper pages to still use static controls. Your entire store can become more fun, interactive, “animated” and rich with moving visuals and arrows. You don’t want to overwhelm consumers of course, so we do recommend you use these new features wisely and consult your designers and web masters with how to put them to use in a measured way that is not too confusing for the consumer.

Have fun!