Friday, July 28, 2006

The Online Shopping Experience

Question: Is the ideal online shopping experience more like looking through a printed catalog or going into a store with a very helpful salesperson? Or is it something new and different?

My perspective on this is not typical because I work in this world every day and think differently about web applications than the majority of people. That said, I do believe there is an evolution underway in ecommerce, and I believe CXP, the product we just released, is going to help drive that evolution. 

The answer to my first question, I believe, is that the ideal online shopping experience should be more like going into a store with expert merchandising and helpful salespeople. An ecommerce site should be smart but not overwhelm customers with options or information. It should use all the information available to it, both internally and externally, to tailor the experience to the customer. I am excited about CXP because it can help do this without having to hire PhDs and go through painful development projects.

I think there is a fundamental difference between "experience" and "offers." Don't get me wrong, a well-crafted offer is a critical component in the world of ecommerce as it is anywhere, but there is much more to life than that. There are a lot of other factors that are important to consider in the overall shopping experience.

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