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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Driving User Experience Through Content Creation

I was reading a business plan the other day that I had helped build for a telecom company in India ten years back and it amazed me how much that we had come in our connected lives.  Ten years back TV was still the major media and we used cell phones to call people not interact with the greater world.

Today online, and through our mobile devices, we are fully connected 24 hours a day and more than that we all have the potential to contribute to this connected world.  Seth Godin had a great post yesterday talking about how the ratio of Consumers and Creators has greatly changed recently.

What this all boils down to, from an eCommerce perspective, is how are you leveraging this trend (although trend implies it will move away from this one day which I don't agree) or your overall community to help enhance your online and shopping experience. 

First off if you are not doing enhanced reviews (videos, pictures, etc) you are already way behind the game.  You need to be looking for ways to further enhance your interaction with your customers.  Sephora does a great job of this through a question and answer type product that allows Sephora and their customers to interact with each other driving away the obstacles to conversion not only for that customer asking the question but many others that are consuming the data.  If you look at the example and how much it is leveraged by consumers across the site you can see what extra this brings to the user's experience.  You can then take this to the next level by having your customer contribute additional content, interact with their social graphs to help in buying decisions and leveraging their abilities to drive your product and brands.

The plain and simple websites of even a few years back no longer engage customers as they did in the past, you need to be evolving along with the consumers creation patterns and finding points in the pre and post purchase process to engage them.

If you don't think your product and service will work with this think again, people are creating everywhere and are willing to share on a much more regular basis.  If you still don't believe me take a look at this - a few days back there was an incredible glacier calving in Alaska (now you know the real reason for the post - I wanted to share these videos), from this there are now three videos angles showing this event that have been shared on youtube.com, what is amazing is that there were just a handful of people that could have witnessed this...crazy to think how far we have come.

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