A few years ago, there was a wide influx of flash videos installed to small business websites. It was a trend, and as all trends went, they impressed some people and annoyed others. Eventually, the novelty of flash videos wore off. Gadgets like the iPhone and the iPad were developed, and unfortunately, they couldn’t play flash videos. Internet connection in other countries weren’t stable enough to download flash videos speedily, and flash introduction turned off more people than they attracted.
On the other hand, flash presentations, when they are downloaded, make websites look more refined. They also help to brand online stores, making them look more upscale than their competitors. Flash videos, because they’re animated and not static, are able to create a bigger impact compared to still images. They just seem more alive, and the “wow” factor somehow affects, if not the sales of the product, the awareness of consumers that the product is there.
Putting up flash videos on your website has its advantages and disadvantages. Perhaps web developers shouldn’t be so worried about whether or not they should include flash videos on their websites. Instead, they should think about when and where to put these flash presentations.
The most strategic place for flash presentations to be placed is at the front page of the website. However, allowing the video to play automatically might work against the website. Remember, internet browsers are generally impatient people. If the page doesn’t download fast enough, consumers tend to click on the back icon and look for other pages to visit. Instead of allowing the video to play automatically, web developers should put them on pause by default. A play button at the center, with some text indicating that the button plays the flash intro, is more effective than a video on auto play.
As we’ve said earlier, there are some gadgets and internet connections which might not be able to play flash presentations at all. In this case, web developers should also put up a link redirecting the consumers from the flash intro page to a more conventional html home page. This way, the online store won’t limit viewers to a select number of consumers who could watch flash videos online. Remember, sales aren’t possible without awareness, and you’d want your flash intro to bring consumers to your product, not turn them away.