A virtual spokes-model can be the difference between somebody staying on your website to see what you have to offer or leaving and going to one of your competitors. They can add that human touch lacking in most websites and can help better engage your site visitors. My favorite thing about using a virtual actor is the ability to greet and better explain sections of your website. Of course there is the coolness factor too!
The only problem with most of the companies I have researched that offer these virtual actors, is that they are not quite ready for mobile devices. Not a big deal and my own recommendation to have the next best thing is to create a video with your dialog and when that is used on your site like you see with mine, they will display correctly on mobile devices too! This page includes a sample that will only show up on desktops.
Throughout this website you will see a number of examples of different ways to accomplish the “Virtual” Spokes-model. Each has its benefits and downfalls. The video on my opening page is easier and less expensive to create but is less desirable because the actor is relatively expressionless vs a more dynamic “Virtual” presence like the lady in this example. Another sample of one of these is called CrazyTalk which again is fairly inexpensive in comparison but can be a little too silly for some peoples taste. In my case that’s exactly what I like about it! The list of ideas I have tested and already have samples I can show you is extensive but the main thing that will help determine which way you integrate something like this on your site is going to be budget.