Software helps NetMotion Inc. establish online presence

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Challenge: NetMotion Inc. is a privately held producer of components for motion control, precision parts handling and lab supply equipment, among others. Established in December 1995, the company conducts extensive market research in order to understand market demands and to provide superior products to its customers.

NetMotion has sold its products directly to its customers for many years. However, as more and more businesses adopt online versions of catalogs outlining available products and solutions, NetMotion began to move to offer an online version of its product catalog as well.

Like other companies, NetMotion posted a PDF version of its print catalog on its Web site so that current and potential customers could browse through product listings at their leisure. But, after three months, NetMotion began to encounter a number of problems with its catalog, prompting the company to explore other online publishing options.

“Unfortunately, customers who wanted to view our catalog had to either already have Acrobat Reader installed and opened prior to viewing or had to go through a lengthy installation process before ever even looking at our catalog,” said M.A. Raman, sales manager at NetMotion. “Additionally, customers were forced to download more than 1MB of data before the catalog would open, and many were simply not willing to do so.”

“To make matters worse, the PDF catalog didn’t offer the kind of functionality we wanted to provide our customers,” Raman said. “We couldn’t link the table of contents to specific pages, forcing viewers to scroll down page by page in order to view the information they wanted to see.”

Solution: NetMotion approached RealRead Inc., a California-based software provider that specializes in online publishing applications.

“We explained our dilemma to RealRead, which ensured us that our problem was a common one for companies that publish online catalogs in PDF format,” Raman said.

Unlike Adobe PDF files, RealRead uses an online document viewing software that allows users to open documents from traditional Internet browsers. With absolutely no downloading, viewers gain instant access to online documents and can navigate through virtual catalog pages using a number of different interactive software features.

“We were very impressed with RealRead, and decided to use the software to convert our print catalogs into online documents,” Raman said, adding the company was particularly impressed with the simplicity of the program, as internal personnel will be able to update and modify the online catalog at any given time without the help of external assistance.

In addition, RealRead online documents are completely searchable, both within the document itself and by external search engines such as Google and MSN. The internal search function allows potential customers to quickly locate the information that they need, while the ability of common search engines to sift through the pages of online catalogs ensures that customers will periodically be routed to catalog pages when they are determined relevant by traditional search engines.

“When potential customers search for keywords that pertain to our products, the search engine will return a link that will route the users directly to our catalog pages,” Raman said. “In addition to providing us with a premium solution to online publishing, RealRead gives our products expanded visibility at no additional cost.”

Where NetMotion struggled with a lack of features available for Adobe PDF-formatted documents, the company was pleased with the different interactive features offered by the RealRead online document format. “Our online catalogs feature page-turning graphics, indexing features that take customers directly to the pages they want to see, and zoom features that allow for easy browsing,” Raman said.

Results: As soon as NetMotion launched its online, RealRead-powered catalog, the company began to receive a growing number of customer inquiries. “Our assumptions regarding the problems with our old Adobe PDF catalog must have been correct, because after launching our catalog in the RealRead format we started to get a lot more customer attention,” Raman said. “We believe that the Search Engine Visibility feature offered by RealRead greatly boosted our potential customer base, bringing in parties that had previously not heard of our products but found us through a Google or MSN search.”

Since launching the RealRead version of its online catalog, NetMotion has reported a 10% increase in sales inquiries, as well as a number of satisfied comments from end users.

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