Megatrend #4; Consumers Demand Three-Dimensional Website Experiences


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The Myth: The primary purpose of your web site should be to serve as a combination brochure and on-line ordering portal for customers and prospects.
The Reality: Consumers (both BtoB and BtoC) now expect far more than product information and convenience in ordering from on-line resources.
In recent blogs, I shared three megatrends of 21st century marketing: Megatrend # 1, that customers expect multichannel, preference-driven communications; Megatrend # 2, that they expect us to trust their requirements for deeper engagement; and Megatrend #3, that consumers are willing to share significant amounts of information about their preferences in order to gain valuable information or resources.
Let’s take a look at Megatrend # 4, which is also based on
learnings from recent VOC research for companies such as
HMS National,
NBC Universal and
Life Line Screening.
Megatrend # 4; Websites must now provide a three-dimensional experience that engages the customer and abandons the current one-dimensional, corporate, “me”-oriented Web experience.
Per VOC research, the three dimensions of experience, in order of importance, are:
1. Provide access to peers, for the most trusted information and recommendations,
2. Provide access to relevant subject matter experts, and
3. Provide easier and faster access to the corporation before, during, and after purchases.
Examples of companies who do this well:
arrow, now allows shoppers to connect to their Facebook accounts. As a result, Amazon can now display their friends’ favorite books, films, and so on. Amazon also provides access to both expert and amateur reviewers (via its main site) and to a wide range of peers and content experts (via its Omnivoracious interactive blog site).
arrow TunerFish, a start-up owned by Comcast, lets users share TV shows and movies they are watching…creating a real-time “TV guide” of programs for friends.
arrow Loopt, a location-focused social network with over 3.4 million registered users, recently began showing them which of their friends liked a particular restaurant.
Megatrend #4 carries broad marketplace implications likely to play out for decades. According to the New York Times, on-line social networks of friends and colleagues are now a more trusted source of purchase recommendations than traditional search!
arrow “The trust factor of friends’ suggestions can make a big difference…Loopt’s users are 20 times more likely to click on a place their friends liked…than a place that simply ranked higher in search results.”
Sam Altman, Co-founder of Loopt
Try This:
Take a fresh look at your site. Identify how you can provide a three-dimensional experience which provides, in order of importance, better access to:
arrow Peers
arrow Subject Matter Experts
arrow Your Company.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Ernan Roman
Ernan Roman (@ernanroman) is president of ERDM Corp. and author of Voice of the Customer Marketing. He was inducted into the DMA Marketing Hall of Fame due to the results his VoC research-based CX strategies achieve for clients such as IBM, Microsoft, QVC, Gilt and HP. ERDM conducts deep qualitative research to help companies understand how customers articulate their feelings and expectations for high value CX and personalization. Named one of the Top 40 Digital Luminaries and one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Marketing.


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