For those people who yearn for someone to walk through a webpage with them, Toonimo now has a solution.
The Houston, Texas-based company is today announcing the availability of digital walkthroughs. Using audio, graphical help like animated arrows, and automated page scrolling, the solution allows a website to demo itself.
Cofounder and CEO Ohad Rozen said the walkthroughs can help visitors to complete such actions as filling out a form, making a purchase, or booking an airline reservation. It can also be used to highlight sales or product features.
“The sweet spot,” he said, is explaining “anything that is complex.”
This video below, for website builder Duda, shows such a self-demonstration. Keep in mind it’s not a video demo, but a video of the website doing the demo. The voiceover and movements are what you see on the website — if you asked for a free trial.
Insurance company NetQuote is similarly Toonimo’d. Just click on the orange button that says “Show Me Around.”
The digital walkthroughs can also accept and respond to clicks and even text entry.
For instance, the walkthrough might pause after demonstrating something so that the visitor can click a button or enter some text into a field. The walkthrough can then proceed one way or another, depending on the visitor’s input.
The two-year-old company previously offered an animated character in an overlay to help site visitors, but Rozen said that was “very polarizing” because some visitors found it too childlike.
The walkthrough fees start at $290/monthly, with additional charges based on visitor volume, although Rozen wouldn’t describe what levels resulted in what charges. He said that was part of a discussion between the site and the company, which happens with every customer.
Part of the reason for an initial consultation is so Toonimo can assess exactly what the site wants to do. There are online tools for a website to create its own walkthrough, but some actions might require special attention by Toonimo’s developers. Rozen told me that the existing tools should be able to “cover 90 percent of the cases,” and new functions will be added soon.
To enable a walkthrough, a site adds some tags to the appropriate web pages. Voiceover can be recorded on a quick turnaround by professional actors working with Toonimo. A site can also record its own audio, or utilize the platform’s text-to-speech generator to create audio from a script. Graphical elements, such as animated arrows, circles, or highlights, are included in the toolset.
Rozen pointed to some other startups that similarly see an opportunity in helping confused site visitors. But, he noted, Sunday Sky and Idoomo are video-oriented, which they contain “in a box” that does not directly demo the site. WalkMe and similar providers use text bubbles.
No one else, he said, offers overlaid movement that interacts directly with the page, using voice and animated graphics.
Toonimo’s visitor help solution is designed primarily for desktop and laptop sites. Mobile sites are supported, but it requires extra work — and extra charges. The walkthroughs work in any browser that supports HTML5 overlays; for older browsers, Toonimo offers a Flash version.
Rozen told me that more than 10 companies have tested the digital walkthroughs so far, and the results showed a 3 to 15 percent increase in sales. For some client companies, he said, there was a 20 percent-plus uplift in leads.