In 2008, IDEA conducted a study about online experiences. The report (download PDF here) outlines key findings from surveys that explored factors that drive online experience which I quoted the following:
“Although over 90% of visitors say that they are able to find the information they are looking for, over 50% report that there is a gap between what they are looking for and what typical web sites provide, and 60% think that a personal guide would help them navigate web sites.”
That gab is about to end as real time contents is what every user will expect from your website. Static website is dead and dynamic website will be a commodity however who will win tomorrow is not static or dynamic but a real-time website. A real-time website is a web content management system that transform completely based on your previous online experiences such as tweets, checkins, checkouts, pictures, videos, comments, likes and all your interactions on the Internet. Not only that transformation BUT will also provide enjoyment experience to remember. How awesome is that?
I based my 3 predictions on many factors but mostly what I imagine as a web user.
1 – For all web users: The real time website will be transformed instantly to the consumer keyword or phrase used in the search and in real-time.
Example 1: If you are in the real time mindset, you know it’s about earning the prospects confidence in you. Earning trust is very difficult task and what if that online with brands you dont know about then you need a proof. Your business website should be transparent not vague.
The real-time website will collect the experiences, comments, reviews and all people interactions with the brand. This is what all we can get but if the website provide it for us, we will feel confident that this brand want to earn our
business trust. Listing the text testimonials is not working as video or tagging the reference on Facebook or Linkedin. Providing real people who can give instant review about your brand will not only boost customer confidence but trust.
Example 2: You come repeatedly to Amazon because they provide everything you need. You track Groupon and Livingsocial because they provide good discount. We are looking for websites that connected us emotionally to our interests.
Online experience will be more fun because future websites will provide the ability to connect people together through mutual interests. Social media networks will be integrated into websites in a way that let people have the ability to connect with people with similar interests in the same geographic area. There is huge power in online community experience that can drive businesses forward.
2 – For new (unique) visitors: If you are in the SEO and marketing anayltics business, you know it’s not anymore about more traffic or clicks but it’s about leads. For businesses, new visitors is what you get after your work hard in contents management, advertising, search engine and social media optimization. It’s your opportunity to surprise and not just impress the new visitors.
Example 1: If you are looking for urgent care visit for travel vaccine, you want minimum waiting time, enough time with the physician for the consult, and overall happy patient experience. You can get a ton of information online about travel vaccine and what you need for each country you are planning to visit but what if the urgent care website provide all what you need. Let’s say you want to travel to South Africa, you start looking for an urgent care in your city, once you are in the website, the website will transform to show you only the services, prices, blog posts, tweets, and videos that related to travel vaccine to South Africa. A receptionist will interact with you online to give you the best time to walk-in with express checkin. Also, a nurse practitioner will interact with you live to make sure you are in a good standing for travel. Instant secure scanning for your insurance card and ID will be sent, a copay will be paid online and your medical records will be transferred (if needed) to the urgent care in minute.
Example 2: It’s more easier that ever to know your favorite dish. You already tweeted many pictures from inside the restaurant and shared your mom Turkey on Thanksgiving on Facebook or checkin on Foursquare at your neighborhood Sushi restaurant.
If you looking to experiment your next restaurant menu, you want to fell the experience online before going offline. I would tell you how?
Once you are in the restaurant website, a script will run to gather all your past online experience and in a second, you have totally different website with your favorite recipes. Having a free smoothie or desert dish will be a commodity. You will able to book your table, customize your view, pick your server from the selection, pick your ingredients and pick your TV channel to see your favorite football team. This is all will be ready for you but you just need to prepare your offline experience in advance via the website.
3 – For returning visitors. Based on your web history data and interactions on social media networks, not only the contents will show what you searched for before but will make you take action easily. All what the visitor need is triggers matching their interests.
Example 1: If you already added a book in Amazon cart and didn’t order it yet, you will get a notification that your book will be singed by the author or one hour free consulting with the author will be provided if you place your order now.
Example 2: If you tweeted that you are looking to buy a tablet, not only a customizable tweet/email you will get from Dell, Samsung or Apple but 50% OFF on the training course that you were planning to go for Project Management but couldn’t due to limited budget.
Online retail stores, hotels, restaurants, etc. will have more work to do to surprise the customer, their customer demographic and psychographic information need to be intensively study one customer in a time.
As we just entered 2013, I expect we will click smartly, look only on what we need and share what worth sharing to our social networks. Only those who provide happy online experience will stay in business and remember that providing online experience is as much important as offline experience as they both represent your brand.
If you are doing some of what I predicated, please share your website in the comment box.