Tag Archives: mobile shopping

Facebook Friends Share; Pinterest People Purchase

9 六月

Pinterest users are 79 percent more likely to purchase items they see pinned on the site compared to the purchasing behavior of Facebook users viewing items they’ve seen on the news feed or a friend’s wall, according to a new survey released from behavioral commerce company SteelHouse.

Thirty-three percent of Facebook users said they have purchased a product or service that they’ve seen in a Facebook ad, on the news feed or on a friend’s wall, compared to 59 percent of Pinterest users who have made a purchase based on an item they saw on the pinboarding site. However, Facebook remains consumers’ top choice for getting ideas on what products or services to purchase, according to the survey, and is also the preferred choice for social product sharing. More than one half of those surveyed said they regularly share their online purchases.

Fifty-five percent of shoppers prefer to share their purchases on Facebook, followed by Twitter (22 percent), Pinterest (14 percent), and Instagram (5 percent). LinkedIn bottomed the list with only 3 percent of respondents using it to socially share purchases.

When asked about mobile shopping, 43 percent of those surveyed said they have downloaded a retailer’s mobile app and primarily use the app to browse for items (32 percent), make purchases (22 percent), and earn discounts and deals (26 percent). When making purchases, though, close to one third of respondents said they prefer to make purchases from a retailer’s online store versus that retailer’s mobile app.

In addition to getting more social and mobile with shopping, 98 percent of shoppers say that online customer reviews have a major influence on their decision to purchase a product or service. Seventy-two percent of consumers said that they always read reviews before making a purchase, while 26 percent of consumers only sometimes read reviews before purchasing.

By: http://www.websitemagazine.com/content/blogs/posts/archive/2012/05/30/facebook-users-share-products-pinterest-users-purchase.aspx?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter

When reading product reviews, 83 percent of shoppers take both the star rating and written comments into consideration. Star ratings are particularly important, as half of all respondents said the lowest star rating they would accept when making a purchase is three stars on a five-star scale.

Beyond just checking out reviews, many respondents said they also write reviews. Sixty-eight percent of shoppers say they rate and review products on a regular basis. The top product categories they write reviews on are electronics (23 percent), DVDs/CDs/MP3s (14 percent), books and clothing (both 13 percent).

廣告

10 Ways to Boost Sales on Your Ecommerce Website

9 六月

It’s fairly simple now to become an online entrepreneur, thanks to technology and social media. Making a profit, on the other hand, is not always simple. There are small details that could greatly affect how your business thrives on the Internet — you can’t just put up an ecommerce portal and expect customers to come rolling in.

Building the smartest (and most successful) business website requires a lot of consideration. Online retailers must balance web design and development with marketing practices to successfully drive sales.

To add to the balancing act, your website and business will benefit when you consider what your customer wants and needs. Most are looking for a simple, straightforward shopping experience. Think about it — when is the last time you felt that way in a mall? There’s a reason shoppers are flocking to the web for their commerce needs — everything is tailored to them.

We’ve gathered a few tips for a successful ecommerce platform in the gallery below, some of which were suggested by Sucharita Mulpurur, an analyst at Forrester, and Ben Zifkin, CEO of Hubba.

Whether you’re a small business owner or an online shopper — as a customer, what features do you appreciate when you’re purchasing something on the web? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Google Mobile Playbook

1 五月

http://www.themobileplaybook.com/#/cover

Interest in Pinterest Reaches a Fever Pitch [INFOGRAPHIC]

1 五月

Could Pinterest be the silver bullet for retailers on social media?  Pinterest is clearly resonating with online consumers in a big way.  To put it simply, customers who find a product via Pinterest are more likely to purchase it than those who find the product via other social networks.

SEE ALSO: 10 Video Tips for Businesses on PinterestPinterest is hot. In fact, in March 2012 the site served up 2.3 billion page impressions to over 4 million unique visitors a day.

Who are these people? Why do Pinterest users respond so strongly to products that are pinned? This infographic from Tamba breaks down the stats, explaining why Pinterest is so powerful with its consumption-friendly audience.

By: http://mashable.com/2012/04/29/pinterest-interest/

支付產業聚焦 – 你知道 PayPal 怎麼賺錢嗎?

1 五月

發表於 <!––><!––> TechOrange

台灣網路以及 App 創業市場最近相當火紅,但是我自己覺得支付產業這個網路世界中的利潤高規模大的項目好像是大家相對不熟悉的一環,跟一些人聊過後我發現理由大都是因為金融相關東西容易讓人有距離感,因為金融產品都會跟法規有所牽扯相當麻煩,不然就是大家都習慣用現有的支付選擇,信用卡交易以及超商付款很安全很方便,何必去想什麼創新呢?但事實上支付產業在世界各地不斷地有著破壞式的創新,讓網路跟行動支付的風險更小成本更低,在科技使用發達的台灣絕對也有著不可小看的潛力;所以我決定開始一系列的文章介紹現在網路以及行動支付產業在全世界一些有名的案例,希望可以提供大家一些想法,待法規更趨成熟後能有更多創業的資源以及人才投入到這個領域!今天就讓我們從全球網路支付龍頭 – PayPal 開始吧!

相信大家都對於 PayPal 不陌生,用 PayPal 可以免除輸入信用卡號碼的麻煩,也可以避免信用卡資料外流的風險,但是大家知道 PayPal 到底是怎麼賺錢嗎?要解答這個問題錢,讓我們先看看金流是怎麼在這個平台上運作的,說穿了 PayPal 是一個結合了電子金流 (Payment Gateway) 以及電子錢包 (e-wallet) 的平台,電子金流連結了信用卡交易系統以及銀行清算系統,資金可以透過這兩個管道進到 PayPal 的銀行帳戶,不管你選擇先儲值在自己的帳戶中,還是將自己帳戶連結到一個信用卡號碼或者銀行帳戶,PayPal 最後都會把這筆金額轉換成電子貨幣的形式儲存在你的電子錢包裡。但是我們要記得當你使用信用卡交易的時候,銀行在把錢清算給 PayPal 時照樣會扣除一筆手續費,所以當你用信卡交易 100 元, PayPal 雖然在你帳戶顯示 100 元,但是實際上可能只收到了98 元;但是稍後當你把這 100 元拿去商家交易的時候,PayPal 若是跟商家收高於 2 元,那他就可以在這個過程中創造利潤,最後再扣掉壞帳損失 (例如帳戶被盜用等) 就會是它的毛利。下面我簡短介紹一下 PayPal 在這三個項目中做了哪些事情去增加它的毛利

1. 交易收入 (Take Rate):除了提高跟商家的收費以外,跨國交易所產生的手續費用以及外匯是另外一個很主要的收入來源,當全世界更多消費者以及商家加入 PayPal ,它就能夠創造更多跨國交易,這也是為什麼 PayPal 很積極地在國際上布局去創造網路效應,讓更多人用 PayPal 在全世界的網路商家都能消費。

2. 交易資金成本 (Transaction Expense):相對於信用卡交易,銀行轉帳其實是相對便宜的,所以你在各個國家都會發現 PayPal 很努力地在跟使用者推銷將 PayPal 帳號連接到銀行帳號,進而大幅降低它的交易資金成本,我自己在英國的 PayPal 帳戶就是直接連接到英國銀行帳戶,透過當地的即時清算系統 PayPal 可以在交易發生的同時間從我的銀行帳戶扣款, 一個 100 英鎊的交易成本瞬間從 1.25 英鎊降到 0.2 英鎊以下,直接就差了 1%。

3. 壞帳損失 (Loss Rate):大家也許不知道  PayPal 在剛起飛的時候,單月的壞帳金額曾經高達 100 萬美元, 創辦人 Max Levchin 當時傾全力針對交易資料做了側底分析後才打造了 PayPal 防盜以及防詐欺交易的系統,這套系統很少被提及,因為 PayPal 了解這個系統是一間支付公司能否成功的關鍵,所以他們盡可能不去洩漏任何關於他們在這各方面的知識以及經驗,也從來沒有申請專利,因為申請專利你就得把所有的資料公諸於世。

讓我們看一下PayPal Q1 2012 財報第 8 頁,你就可以看到這三個數字是 PayPal 商業模式中最重要的三個元素,也是他們每一季財報上的關鍵數字;PayPal 在過去五季中展現了他們優良的經營績效 – 交易收入不斷向上、交易資金成本持續向下、壞帳損失幾乎是持平,所以在單季交易金額從 280 億美元攀升到 330 億美元的過程中,毛利率盡然也能夠同時向上攀升,怪不得財報公布當天 eBay 的股價跳升超過 10 個百分點,因為這些數字證明了 PayPal 這個平台有能力在世界各個市場持續擴張並維持健全的投資報酬率,這絕對是其他競爭者短時間很難複製以及挑戰的。

另外這也是為什麼 PayPal 有著進軍實體通路的本錢;面對大型連鎖通路, PayPal 比起銀行更有議價的空間,當銀行服務費用大都得從 1.5% 談起的時候,PayPal 有著相對低的交易資金成本,面對小型商家的時候, PayPal Here 可以將它龐大的網路使用者帶到零售通路,提供一個更便捷且快速的交易選擇,這個戰場界線的模糊又再次地證明真正的贏家必須創造一個「實體 + 網路 + 行動」三個領域合一的消費者體驗,接下來我們應該可以看到 PayPal 更積極地在所有的領域全面開戰,因為當人們的生活以及消費隨著科技改變,最需要被解決的就是支付的問題,PayPal 應該比誰都清楚。

後記:有興趣的人可以想想 PayPal 怎麼進軍 B2B 支付市場去搶銀行的飯碗,以及 PayPal 如何在手機內應用交易 (In-app purchasing) 跟 Google、Apple 以及 Amazon 競爭,有些我會在之後的文章提到。

By: http://www.appguru.com.tw/appguru/blog/6729/payment-industry-focused-you-know-that-paypal-is-how-to-make-money-you

THE FUTURE OF MOBILE [SLIDE DECK]

31 三月

http://www.businessinsider.com/embed?id=4f6b71486bb3f7cd43000012&width=600&height=430

By: http://read.bi/GFBGsh

Facebook Launches ‘Facebook Offers’ For Businesses

9 三月

A few select brands on Facebook are currently running tests of a new Facebook product for businesses called “Offers.” The most recent Offer, which generated a fair amount of buzz in the past week, was posted by Macy’s. Macy’s first posted the Offer on Thursday, February 23rd at 7:11am Pacific with an expiration date of February 26th. The Offer was: “Get 25% off your purchase of $100 or more.

The Offer jumped out at me in my News Feed last Thursday when a friend of mine (plus six others!) claimed the Offer. Then I saw the Offer repeatedly in my News Feed, so clicked through to Macy’s to check it out on their wall too.

Facebook Offers - Marsh Engle Claimed Macy's

Simple, one-click claim – INCLUDING on mobile!

What’s super exciting about this new Facebook product for businesses, is the absolute simplicity and ease with which users can claim the Offer. Literally ONE click and Facebook lets you know the Offer is in your email inbox!

Facebook Offers - One Click Claim

Users can claim the Offer from the wall of the brand’s fan page.

Or, users can claim the Offer from their News Feed. Including MOBILE. Hello? Yes, mobile. Now that is thrilling.

More than half of Facebook’s 845 Million active users access the site via their mobile devices. Imagine the possibilities of Offers for your business! For local businesses. Wow. I haven’t been this excited about a new Facebook product since…. well, since last September when Subscribe came out. ;)

On that note, feel free to Subscribe to my Timeline public updates! Click the button below:

//www.facebook.com/plugins/subscribe.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fmaris&layout=standard&show_faces=true&colorscheme=light&font=arial&width=450&appId=102079246572280

Einstein Bros Bagels Offer

By way of example on how super easy it is to claim an Offer on mobile, check out this recent Offer by Einstein Bros Bagels (claimed over 25,000 times so far!). I didn’t see this in my News Feed, per se. I just pulled up Einstein Bros Bagels on my iPhone and did the uber easy one-click claim:

Einstein Bros Bagles - Facebook Offer

And after the one-click (or one-touch, really, on iPhone!):

Einstein Bros Bagels - Facebook Offer Claimed

Credit to AK Stout and this post on SayingItSocial.com where a commenter pointed out the Einstein Bros Bagels offer.

Redeem by email, share from email

Not only can users easily claim the offer from their News Feed – on any computer or mobile device – the actual offer can be redeemed simply by showing the coupon on your phone to Macy’s staff. See the email below:

Facebook Offers - Claim Email

And, notice the big “Share Offer” button in the email. LOVE that. Boom – one-click claim. Instant gratification. And another one-click to share with friends!

Key takeaways from Macy’s Offer

Some points to note about Macy’s offer:

  • The offer was clean, simple, obvious and used a “%” sign and a “$dollar” amount.
  • Macy’s chose an extremely eye-catching image of a red shoe and a blue shoe on a white background, clearly chosen very strategically (red, white and blue = power color combo!). Plus, the fact it’s shoes – I don’t know any female out there who doesn’t love shoes. (Of course, many men claimed the Offer too!)
  • The choice of verbiage in the Offer was compelling: starting with “Get” (mirrored with the “Get Offer”), and the use of “save” and “BIG.” Clever!
  • Macy’s first posted the Offer on February 23rd, and posted it again on February 25th (Saturday morning at 7am Pacific) with the the description “Just two days left to get a head start on spring shopping!” (Einstein Bros Bagels did the same repeating of the Offer on its fan page wall, which of course goes into the fans’ News Feed again).

  • Ultimately, 41,602 people claimed the Macy’s Offer. And the original Offer post was shared a total of 2,491 times and the reminder of the Offer shared 374 times. Awesome social proof!

See also Build-A-Bear Workshop‘s Facebook page for this Offer. (Credit to AK Stout for spotting it).

Will Facebook unveil Offers at the FMC today? [Update: Yes!]

Congrats, Facebook. I do believe you’ve found simplicity on the other side of complexity with this new Offers product.

Will Offers be one of the BIG new product launches announced at the Facebook Marketing Conference today? Rumor has it Facebook is unveiling a whopping 7 new changes/products/upgrades. We know that one will be Timeline for Pages. Another is new Premium Ads. And a third surely has to be these Offers—well, in fact I understand that Offers is part of the new Premium Ads product. [Update: turns out Offers are a standalone product and appear to be FREE to create and share! Select Pages only, so far.] And, I heard last Friday from a reliable source that currently only around 25 big brands even know about Offers. Hm, still, I sure hope the product is imminent for the rest of us.

Stay tuned for more. I’ll be watching the Livestream of the FMC and tweeting and posting my thoughts on my Facebook page and profile.

By: http://www.marismith.com/facebook-offers/

eMarketer Webinar: Key Digital Trends for 2012

12 二月

To listen and watch playback of the webinar, Key Digital Trends for 2012, click here. You can view the PowerPoint deck below.

The webinar will address these key questions:

  • What effect will economic conditions have on the online advertising landscape?
  • What role will social media play in companies’ marketing strategies?
  • How will emerging technologies affect marketers, retailers and content owners?

Demand Generation Strategies for 2012: 5 Emerging Trends in B2B Marketing

12 二月

State_Of_DemandGen_copy_1The proliferation of devices and changes in media preferences is dictating the rapid evolution of marketing strategies. As organizations work to cater to today’s time-starved buyer, the new sales and marketing landscape is driven by a variety of technologies and tools.

DemandGen Report polled leading experts in the demand generation space for their outlook on these key emerging trends. As highlighted in the upcoming State of Demand Generation 2012 Report, thought leaders pointed to the following emerging trends for 2012:

  • Gamification for B2B— Referred to as “nurturing at its best” by BlueBird Strategies Partner Cari Baldwin, gamification has already taken flight in the B2C world. In an effort to provide a recreation-based approach to marketing, gamification is poised to help organizations with both internal and customer-facing communications.

“Gamification is attracting marketers,” Baldwin wrote in the report. “But marketing automation has so far seen little gamification. It’s time for this to change.”

In the report, Baldwin offers tips on how marketers can use gamification, as well as a case study example of how one organization drove more than $200,000 in business via gamification.

  • Mobilization— As people are accessing more channels than ever, including email, social media, smart phones and tablets, marketers have even greater opportunities to collect the best customer data.

“Savvy marketers will know that in order to drive the most revenue, they will need to reach prospects on more than one channel,” wrote Bryan Brown, Director of Product Strategy at Silverpop.

Brown offers tips on how marketers can mix up marketing to mobilize campaigns via tablets and smart phones.

  • Bringing B2C tactics into B2B— Who says B2C has more fun? While industry research indicated that the vast majority of B2B traffic is typically coming from new visitors, it’s a reality for every marketer is challenged with — lesser opportunity to leverage any sort of stored history to personalize the experience for the browser.

“BtoB sells to accounts, not individuals, and yet most of the widely practiced personalization techniques are geared towards individual behaviors or browsing histories,” wrote Jason Stewart, Director of Marketing at Demandbase.

In the report, Stewart offers five steps B2B companies can take to implement an account-based personalization model on their web sites to drive conversions.

  • Connecting Marketing To The C-Suite— As Revenue Performance Management made significant headway as an important, emerging category, selling to the C-Suite has become an increasingly hot topic of conversation.

“Driving top-line growth is the universal C-suite challenge, which is why Revenue Performance Management immediately caught on so quickly,” noted Eloqua CEO Joe Payne, of the emerging category. “Simply put, RPM is a good night’s sleep for an executive who tosses and turns over revenue fears.

Payne offers 3 ways Revenue Performance Management differs from marketing automation.

  • Integrating Social & Traditional Media- The proliferation of media channels has tasked marketers with the critical challenge of being present across a variety of forums. Progressive marketers are integrating social initiatives into traditional media usage to optimize prospect reach, communication and engagement.

“At the end of the day, the goal for all marketers is to find new and compelling ways to engage with their leads and prospects,” wrote Shawn Naggiar, Chief Revenue Officer at Act-On Software. The one-two punch of marketing automation combined with social media added to your standard marketing mix enables you to elevate your marketing effectiveness with minimal disruption and cost.”

Naggiar offers 5 steps to up the ante with marketing automation.

A real need for new adopters is often “working out the kinks” of an automation system by subscribing to a process-based approach. This starts by identifying obstacles to then develop an understanding of how to integrate efficiently for the best results.

“Organizations using any technology alone to address their marketing and sales challenges can often experience a negative return,” noted Terry Flaherty, VP Marketing at Bulldog Solutions. “Implementing a marketing automation system can actually leave you with more problems than you started with prior to the implementation.”

Flaherty offers the 7 building blocks of successful marketing automation.

With industry expectations set high for rapid growth in technology-driven marketing automation, 2012 is poised to be a year of innovation and enhanced adoption. These and other key demand generation trends will be explored in the upcoming State of Demand Generation 2012 Report.

By: http://www.demandgenreport.com/archives/feature-articles/1026-demand-generation-strategies-for-2012-5-emerging-trends-in-b2b-marketing-.html

How to Design the Best Navigation Bar for Your Website

11 二月

The navigation bar is the most important design element on a website. Not only does it guide your users to pages beyond the homepage, but it’s also the singular tool to give users a sense of orientation. With this in mind, it’s important to adhere to time-tested design and usability conventions. Doing so will give your users a comfortable and easy reference point to fully engage with your content.

Despite the necessity of an accessible navigation bar, usability studies on navigation across the web aren’t positive. One study by User Interface Engineering shows that people cannot find the information they seek on a website about 60% of the time. While this failure rate might be acceptable for your average blog, a business website simply cannot afford these stats. Even worse, many users often find navigation usability extremely frustrating, citing annoying hover errors and inconsistencies. Another study by Forrester found that 40% of users do not return to a site when their first visit is negative.

So how do you ensure that your users are able to quickly and easily find the information they need?


The Basics


Employ these basic concepts to help users move more efficiently through your website.

Start with content. Believe it or not, most websites start backward, meaning a designer will suggest navigation items before determining all the content possibilities. This isn’t entirely unusual — often the content isn’t ready before the design process begins. Jeffrey Zeldman, a usability guru, suggests, “Content precedes design. Design in the absence of content is not design, it’s decoration.”

It’s important to properly analyze and organize all your content into a logical and highly usable structure before even considering design choices. Once you accomplish this, only add complexity if absolutely necessary for your users.

Don’t overwhelm. The main role of a navigation bar is to provide your user with a choice. Overwhelming a site visitor with too many options impedes his ability to quickly make a choice. A navigation bar with five to seven channel items is sufficient organization for most websites. Plus, it fits nicely in the width of most website designs. Once you reach eight navigation options, you severely limit readability and usability due to width constraints.

Keep it simple. Use precise and recognizable words in the navigation bar. Refrain from long phrases that consume screen real estate by limiting each navigation item to 12 characters or less. Also, don’t use words that an average user wouldn’t completely understand. People are used to conventions; therefore, err on the side of familiarity. For example, use “Contact Us,” not “Get in Touch” or “Let’s Talk.” Finally, leave out unnecessary words that don’t add anything to the navigation item. Instead of “In the News,” consider simply “News.”

Actions on the right. Because people read from left to right, they naturally expect action links on the right-hand side of the navigation bar because moving right suggests moving forward. Use the left side for more informational links. The exception is the “Home” link, which as a backward action, should be furthest left.

Avoid Flash, for the most part. While Flash is generally frowned upon by usability experts, it presents aesthetic possibility. Flash’s biggest problem is that it typically is not implemented in a way accessible to screen readers and mobile devices. And while you don’t want to implement the actual navigation with Flash, you can get away with embellishing an HTML/CSS Navigation Bar with Flash to add visual interest and retain usability. One great example of this is the Atlanta Botanical Garden website (above).


One-Level Navigation Bars


Now that you know a few basic principles about creating a highly effective navigation, let’s learn from already existing navigation bars, including one-level bars, drop-down multi-level bars and mega drop-down bars. While you’ll ultimately decide which type of navigation works best for your website, we can show you what to do and what not to do depending on the type of navigation bar you eventually choose.

Apple vs. CNN

Experts have often heralded Apple as the gold standard in web design. The company has managed to distill everything it does into seven links, not including the logo and a search bar. It’s the epitome of simplicity and straightforwardness — from one of the largest companies in the world.

To its credit, CNN has to cover an entire planet of news, which makes it somewhat understandable that its site features a whopping 16 navigation bar links. While this navigation structure might work for CNN, it’s highly unreasonable for your average personal or business website. Cramming this many links in the full width of the website hinders readability by forcing a small font size and very little negative space on either side of a link. On a practical level, it’s a huge chore to read through every single link to decide where you need to go.


Drop-Down Multi-Level Navigation Bars


Drop-down menus became very popular at the end of the ‘90s during the dot-com boom because they allowed a user to get to any page on a website with one click. While that may seem like a huge advantage at first, the option presents several usability problems if done incorrectly. Many users find these types of navigation bars frustrating because they require precise cursor movements in order to successfully move through deeper levels. With this in mind, it’s best to reserve ample vertical and horizontal space for each link so that users can navigate without clicking on the wrong page.

Denny’s vs. Sony

Earlier this year, Denny’s new website design that was met with mixed reviews. On one hand, the website featured an innovative and technically complex browsing experience, but for many critics, it was overdone. The navigation bar features gimmicky JavaScript “enhancements” that actually slow the user down. For example, when you hover over a link with the cursor, it takes a fraction of a second for the animation to fully reveal its contents. Even that fraction of a second is slower than our mind’s ability to move forward.

Sony, sticking true to its understated style, provides a no-nonsense drop-down menu that gets the job done efficiently. Sony’s helper icons next to links specify parent and action links. Overall, Sony’s navigation bar responds instantly and manages to stay out of the user’s way with its subtle yet effective design.


Mega Drop-Down Navigation Bars


Mega menus are the newest design craze for large sites with a lot of depth and categories, such as Zappos and The White House. These menus are usually only two levels deep, but the second level features a large panel complete with images or multiple columns of links. The benefit to these menus is that a site not only provides more links for the user, but also includes context and hierarchy within those links.

Target vs. Lowe’s

A mega menu’s blessing can also be its curse. Sure, these navigation bars give you more room to include links, but without proper hierarchy and context, mega menus can quickly turn into a sea of unnavigable options. Perhaps the best example of this is Target.com. It doesn’t take long to see that the company has crammed way too many links in its mega menu, without the proper hierarchy or context.

While it might seem convenient that a user can get to Target’s “Spice Storage” department directly from the second level of its menu, is that really necessary? Including links like this creates too much noise and doesn’t let the user focus on the important higher-level category items. Another big no-no is the sheer size of Target’s menu. Some of the mega menu panels exceed the height of a standard 13-inch laptop screen size. The last thing you want is to force someone to scroll down to use your navigation menu.

Target could learn a few things from Lowe’s website. Lowe’s has managed to provide a wealth of links with plenty of hierarchy and context. For every panel of links, the company has made the most popular and timely links stand out by elevating them to large blocks of thumbnail images.

By distinguishing the most popular items, Lowe’s makes it easy for users to access the links they’re most likely to click anyway. The thumbnail images also contribute greatly to context. By providing recognizable images for their most popular categories, the user doesn’t even have to read to understand which part of the menu he’s in. It’s akin to walking by Lowe’s brick and mortar store, and scanning the contents of each aisle to zero-in on your desired product.


Conclusion


When choosing a navigation bar type, start simple. Evaluate your content thoroughly and ask yourself what your users need to access quickly. More often than not, a complex navigation system is an indicator you need better content planning and organization. If you absolutely need to give your users so many options directly inside the navigation bar menu, follow the principles mentioned above to create an efficient and enjoyable experience for your users.

By: http://mashable.com/2011/12/08/design-navigation-bar/