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#PeopleFirst: Unwritten Rules for #OnlineBusinesses

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  • #PeopleFirst: Unwritten Rules for #OnlineBusinesses

    #CustomerPersonalization and #meaningfulbusinessrelationships are always good for #business - http://drewrynewsnetwork.com/forum/business

    Businesses operating on the World Wide Web should make relationship building with their target audience the first action step for web business success. It’s those precious moments when businesses take time to personally respond to social media comments, answer e-mails, and upload videos to YouTube answering individual consumer questions personally that builds rapport and trust with potential and established online consumers. Serious businesses operating online who value relationships with their audience understand that it’s not all about selling something in the moment; yet, earning consumer loyalty, earning positive word-of-mouth advertising to others. Fair pricing is an absolute must an an unwritten rule "in most cases offering free shipping as a way of showing customers you appreciate their business."

    Personalization - Consumers or opted in subscribers who receive customized content from companies feel special when the body of the message begins with addressing them by first name. An example would be an e-mail newsletter. E-mail newsletters formatted by companies use sophisticated automation software to customize individual e-mails by addressing consumers and opted in subscribers by first name tend to receive increased responses and conversions versus companies who send mass e-mails sounding general and vague without addressing customers by name. People want to feel a sense of connection and belonging. Though the Internet is emotionless, people want to feel some kind of way when receiving a form of communication from a company they affiliate with as a consumer.

    TechCrunch by Michael Arrington (former CEO and founder) says the following about Amazon “When it comes to personalization, Amazon has been one of the pioneers in mining and using data to create a more curated e-commerce experience for consumers. But by now, nearly all e-commerce companies and marketplaces have caught on and are using more personalized recommendations to enhance the user experience when shopping and browsing.” Amazon knows the game inside out and it comes to personalization. Upon creating a new account as an Amazon merchant or someone looking to purchase products and service on the world’s largest e-retailer site, the minute you logged into Amazon it welcomes you and addresses you by first name. Amazon also does a little data mining on the back and help the company better understand user experiences and helps match customers with the products and services relevant to what they’re looking for.

    Related: Humble Beginnings of this Vitamin startup - Forbes.com

    An example would be if a consumer was searching for something like “Universal Animal Pak” and Amazon search results returned that none are available due to being out of stock in the moment, the Amazon personalized content would automatically save this information and serve relevant results to the customer. Relevant results can be a multivitamin from another company around the same price or a few dollars cheaper. These are few of many ways Amazon creates and serves a personalized experience for consumers and merchants. When Amazon’s personalized content system matches relevant products and services to what a user is searching for that currently unavailable, it increases the potential for the company to earn revenue from similar products and services, in addition to a positive user experience. It creates a relationship because it shows the consumer Amazon strives to give them what they need at an affordable price.

    Mass Customization - Investopedia explains “Mass customization is a marketing and manufacturing technique that combines the flexibility and personalization of "custom-made" with the low unit costs associated with mass production.” It’s a great way to receive an order and payment from a customer before manufacturing, alongside customizing the service or product to a consumer’s needs additionally such as possibly adding their name on the product or service before shipping to them and making other necessary adjustments as needed for consumer satisfaction. Mass customization keeps relationships alive because it can be a hot product or service the consumer needs to sustain their life with. Another words, some customers may have a great relationship with an online vitamin-bodybuilding supplement business they frequently purchase fitness supplements from. They possibly find the site they’re dealing with at the time the most cost effective way to receive their fitness supplements that works well with their budget. As a result, the customer proceeds to make online purchases from the business and maintains a relationship as a frequent buyer.

    Upon shipping out product to the frequent buyer, the online vitamin supplement business they purchased their fitness supplements from may possibly include their name on a fitness supplement for being a loyal customer, in addition to doing something such as including a thank you card and a gift inside the box to maintain consumer loyalty and build a solid revenue stream from serving the customer a mass-produced product. The end result is a win-win for the business and customer and low production costs.

    Collaborative Filtering - This Is a process when product or service websites serve similar products or services to a customer that searching for something specific. Amazon, Bodybuilding, eBay, and others do this when a user searches for something in the search box and either find what they’re looking for or is returned in a search result that the product or service they’re looking for is currently unavailable.

    Collaborative filtering is a good technology for Amazon and other companies to have because it helps increase profit potential. It’s also a good technology for online businesses to have because it can build a relationship by offering personalized recommendations based on user searches. Google uses collaborative filtering when they perform algorithmic updates to their search results index. It helps to return better search results. The Google collaborative filtering technology is also applied in G-Mail, Google Reader, and possibly more Google products. The end result is a better user experience and increased revenue potential.

    Two additional companies who use similar methods in creating personalized content for better user experiences are eBay and Bodybuilding.com. Like Amazon, bodybuilding.com and eBay shows similar results to user searches after a search is conducted for a particular product or service. Whether the product or service is available or not, eBay and bodybuilding.com serves similar products and services. Users have the ability to customize content to only receive updates pertaining to certain things.

    Users are also able to receive personalized content delivered to their e-mail inboxes based on flagging what they’re most interested in. Bodybuilding.com and eBay experience a site user increase as well as increased revenue potential when consumers are notified in personalized content updates through e-mail and their user dashboards. This creates a direct relationship between bodybuilding.com-eBay and their loyal consumer clientele.

    For example, if the customer was interested in a particular product on bodybuilding.com such as a certain brand-name creatine monohydrate or chewable vitamins and bodybuilding.com was out of stock, the consumer could sign up for an e-mail update when those items are back in stock. This is a unique way for businesses to stay connected to their consumers and maintain a solid relationship, in addition to showing similar products relevant to creatine monohydrate or chewable vitamins that the customer may possibly be interested in. Either way you look at it, everyone wins in the end because “a good relationship and rapport is intact.”


    Mass Customization Definition | Investopedia. (2003, November 23). From InvestoPedia

    Rao, L. (2013, August 31). How Amazon Is Tackling Personalization And Curation For Sellers On Its Marketplace. From TechCrunch