Taking eCommerce in Retail to the Next Level (Part 1)

At AT&T, I focus on content delivery networks and site performance. As I see it, the major challenges to doing business on the Internet are:

  • attracting users to your site,
  • delivering an engaging experience on your site so they are more likely to buy,
  • and then ensuring that the purchase process is simple, secure and responsive so users convert to customers and they become loyal shoppers and return for further purchases.

The good news is that there are some exciting new technologies that can help significantly with these challenges.  The problem is that keeping up with them can be daunting.

Let’s dig a little deeper into each of these challenges.

Attracting users sets a foundation.  You can have the greatest web site on the Internet, but if you don’t have visitors, no one will know.

Attracting users is just the first step.   Now that they are on your site, you have to deliver a great experience. If you don’t they are going to get bored and go to another site with out making a purchase.

A great user experience is also an important factor in getting them to come back to your site.  As you can see, the quality of the user experience is a key success factor in converting users to shoppers and retaining them as repeat customers.

Keeping up with new technologies is also very important.   If you don’t, your site will feel old and dated.   But which technologies should you support?   Personalization, Context, Mobile, social networking; each enrich the customer experience. Which of these technologies should you adopt and how will you use them?

Adding complexity, these challenges are connected.  Take Social Networking as an example.

  1. Recommendations on social networking platforms can lead users to your site,
  2. a positive review of an item may persuade a shopper to make a purchase;
  3. and lastly using social networking to connect your customers can boost retention.
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