INTERNET E-COMMERCE : It is one of the supreme ironies of the Internet that the computer, so since quite a while ago derided as impersonal, is presently being used to create very personal experiences for Web site guests. Because a computer can filter through tremendous measures of existing data as indicated by preprogrammed rules, computers would now be able to take organization data (or special interest data) and combine it with data supplied by prospective customers and digest it in a manner that is meaningful to each person.
What are the best ways for businesses to personalize selling and customize items so as to construct business. Albeit a considerable lot of these methods are still in their earliest stages, a great deal can be gleaned as to current strategies and technologies and techniques and strategies can be implemented. To pull in new customers, companies would now be able to establish Web sites that provide exceptionally individualized recommendations based on data provided by the customer.
Along these lines, it’s possible to tell a prospective customer exactly which item, among a plethora of possibilities, is perfect for that individual or that business. The strategic idea behind these efforts is clear: By empowering the customer with data about how a specific offering meets his or her needs, the organization positions itself as a knowledgeable place to purchase and furthermore demonstrates how its items are perfect for that individual customer.
This data, properly used, gives an existing supplier or retailer a clear leg up on the competition: The Company can use its data to establish itself as the supplier of choice and to suggest services to existing customers before they request them. Companies can keep up effectively private Web sites for individual clients with the goal that they can both provide extraordinary service and recommend new items that will be of value to these customers. Previously, this type of personalized correspondence was for all intents and purposes impossible: Retailers and suppliers lacked the detailed data necessary to provide these recommendations and the capacity to cost-effectively communicate it to singular customers.
However, today we have moved into an era where technology enables firms to cater to the individual needs of customers in a manner that have not been possible before. The value of these initiatives, both in tightening the bonds with existing customers and in pulling in new customers, is high. Another business instrument made possible by the Internet is something that previously was available just to the wealthy: item customization, done rapidly and inexpensively.
#1 How are companies utilizing several levels of “personal” recommendations ?
In receiving any strategy based on personalization, security is a central issue. The capacity to make the customer feel comfortable enough to give you the data you need to create a tailored item or arrangement is among the essential challenges companies must overcome.
- The Web’s capacity to help companies establish marketing closeness is possible because a Web site combines five elements:
- A chance to present data in an interactive arrangement, permitting customers to express their preferences to the owner of the Web site
- Virtually costless online correspondences between the potential buyer and seller
- A visual component that lets potential buyers see prospective purchases and how they would appear whenever personalized The capacity to store tremendous measures of personal data about their customers
- An unprecedented capacity to create systems that configure items so exorbitant errors are eliminated, in this way reducing the expense of creating custom items
#2 Presently, one-to-one selling can be viewed in two general categories, recommending and customization
Physical companies have long realized that generally, either a motivated buyer has done a great deal of research on a specific item, or an item has been enthusiastically recommended by a friend or business associate. This knowledge leads to two keys to establishing a Web site that motivates purchasing :
Ample data (with the goal that the buyer needn’t do any more research—and, in the process, conceivably depart your Web site for another)
A positive recommendation.In the past effective recommendations were generally person to person, there are several reasons why these technology-based recommendations are valued at this point. One has to do with the bewildering exhibit of choices that currently faces consumers. A cosmetics firm may offer hundreds of shades of lipstick or eye shadow; monetary services companies have become true supermarkets filled with choices; well-realized virus remedies currently have multiple versions that end with words, for example, “in addition to” and “sinus” and “hack.”
A generation back, the dilemma posed by the variety of choices was generally solved through one-on-one interaction (selling, maybe). Someone with a virus would have stopped by his or her nearby drug store and chatted with the drug specialist about which of the three or four virus remedies carried by the drug store would be best.
#3 Depending on your item and customer, several types of recommending capacities may work best
On the whole, let’s take a moment to consider how to judge effectiveness. Personalization, like any business initiative, ought to be used prudently. There are real costs that go with developing personalized applications: They range from the hard expense of development dollars to the expense of disillusioning customers or prospects who expected a better experience. It’s essential to assess whether a personalization effort will be effective and contribute meaningfully to new sales or customer retention before investing the time and money in putting up it for sale to the public.
The criteria for establishing an effective recommendation system are different for every item. The system chosen is dependent upon a balance of the accompanying:
- The nature of the item,
- The measure of data needed from the potential buyer to make an effective recommendation, and
- The likely willingness of the prospective buyer to share this needed data with you.
Will consumers will believe the data they receive from companies on the Web as much as (or more than) they trust sales representatives? All evidence to date suggests the answer is yes. People believe that no trusted brand will hazard its great name by posting misleading data on the Web.
As you approach creating an online recommendation system, your overriding objective ought to be to make the online shopping experience better than what a customer may encounter in the physical world. Therefore, you need to ask yourself: “What can my organization achieve utilizing this medium that can’t be accomplished in the physical world?”
#4 Payment issues online seemed to have been taken care of by the credit card companies as an issue of routine
Shouldn’t something be said about issues of security? Consider gathering information namelessly. Recommendation systems that provide advice to consumers secretly are likely to be unquestionably more mainstream and, therefore, more effective. In these cases, you are able to provide the prospective buyer with value without needing to hop the hurdle of “you can confide in me with this data.”
On the off chance that you’d prefer to record the identities of site guests, you are one step ahead on the off chance that you are a recognized brand. Consumers are already predisposed to believe in your organization name. In this case, address the security issue head-on with a statement that precedes your online registration structure: “The data gathered here is to help us better serve you; we won’t share or sell this data to anyone.”
At long last, on the off chance that you intend to share customer information with others, then you need to be explicit about it and receive the customer’s permission. The most exceedingly awful thing you can do is neglect to educate the customer that some piece of data you determine about the person in question might be used in some manner the customer does not expect.
Item customization is possible because of a convergence of two elements: the Web as a one-to-one interchanges technology and assembling processes that take into account the development and delivery of custom items. Designing your own custom desktop computer at Web sites, for example, Dell has become “commonplace,” yet shouldn’t something be said about designing your very own bathing suit or, perhaps, golf clubs? These customized services provide several valuable benefits for companies:
- They help to drive new business, and
- Customers will pay a premium price for an independently designed item, which means these items and services sometimes have higher net revenues than standard offerings.
The capacity to interact with customers and state, “I can create the item that is perfect for you,” is one of the most powerful features of the Web. Expansion of this Internet ability will be the inevitable result of the blend of :
- Manufacturers creating items that permit increasing customization,
- Further advances in processing power at ever decreasing expenses, and
- New software that is constantly enhancing the choices available to businesses to personalize.
Shrewd companies realize that the more involved the relationship becomes with the customer, the better their rate of retention. They are implementing this strategy in a wide variety of creative ways, including both personalization and customization, and will certainly enhance their applications essentially over time:
- Companies are creating extraordinary convenience for customers and establishing systems to speed the fulfillment of custom orders.
- E-mail correspondences and reminder systems will be used increasingly. The ultimate objective of every business is to have a customer who needs to hear from the business about new items that he or she should need to purchase. E-mail, just because, provides this type of powerful instrument, since it’s a practically costless correspondences vehicle.
- In business-to-business selling, brilliant companies are likewise connecting firmly to their customers.
Leading-edge technology companies are offering custom secret word protected Web sites for their corporate records and high-volume private company accounts. These sites are regularly designed to disentangle the purchasing process, and they offer :
- Customer online shopping centers offering items preselected by the organization to be purchased by employees at volume rebate prices,
- Electronic mail connects to account managers responsible for serving that customer,
- The capacity to follow the status of orders, and
- Sensational increases in the speed of order fulfillment through the elimination of paper shapes and a reduction in errors.
This is a clear method for giving customers extra value and of tying the customer more closely to your organization. Most companies will likewise see an increase in revenues from these records. What was called for, of course, was a new category of employee: “e-mail respondents”; yet nobody wanted to include staff at an extra expense to a project that was in its outset.
#5 Enter “Response Software.”
Several intelligent software systems, are able to routinely handle and route questions, so there is no excuse for underserving your customers with the first and most fundamental customer service—answering their questions. Companies who are successfully dealing with their e-mail by means of electronic means are likewise accepting the open door to benefit from the Knowledge they glean. Companies are at last changing their Web sites from marketing brochures to vehicles that transform visits into sales leads.
Those who develop a Web presence and neglect to respond to electronic inquiries in a timely manner risk losing existing and new customers. Industry research likewise demonstrates that solitary 30 percent of Fortune 500 companies respond to questions directed to these companies through their Web sites, which means a large number of customers aren’t getting the personal attention winning companies need to provide.
As you consider the possibilities offered by personalization and customization, I suggest that these initiatives be weighed against these criteria: Will the initiative enhance relationships with my customers by including convenience or a better capacity to meet their needs?Will the initiative result in potentially staggering expense reserve funds for my association Will intelligent item setup eliminate and reduce exorbitant order errors and help to target imperative marketing efforts directed at the customer base entity?