One of the hardest things to do on a website is reaching out to your visitors with the warmth and friendliness that exists in person. Thanks to Sitepal from Oddcast, it is relatively easy and inexpensive to add a lifelike animated character to your website. It isn’t as powerful as a real salesman, but its pretty darn close and a step above graphics and simple flash animations.
Sitepal allows all kinds of businesses to create animated, talking avatars for websites. These avatars can be used for a variety of applications such as customer service agents, virtual salesman, or even a reporter for news sites. Their eyes follow the mouse cursor. They can welcome visitors, inform about products displayed on the page, even answer pre-defined questions.
Personalizing your character is flexible and easy. The system lets you choose hairstyles, shades, necklaces, shirts, mouths, and face models. You can reposition the mouth, adjust the size of the shoulders, and even choose the amount of blush used for make up. It also gives you a decent list of backgrounds to use as well as an option to upload your own. For the audio, you can record a message using a microphone or use the pre-made audio. There is also a text-to-speech option that speaks the text you type in, although the voice often sounds computerized and unnatural. The avatars support 13 languages in 60 different voices.
According to Oren Levy, executive vice president of New York City Oddcast, there are 10,000 eBay auctions running with Sitepal virtual sales representative. These avatars aren’t there for decorative purposes, they produce real results. Some businesses customize characters targeted to sell only one product. Levy says one business saw a 33 percent increase in sales after using Sitepal.
Although Sitepal can be used anywhere, it is most effective with high consideration products like computers, large appliances, and furniture. They’re also effective when used with products facing tough competition. Subscription prices start at $9.95 per month or $99.50 per year.