Who’s Who: Web Profile
For this edition, Website Magazine asked current Who’s Who members to tell us what techniques, technologies and solutions they see changing the nature of their industry in the coming years.
At Amazon.com, we focus on the customer experience. We find that our customers are excited about sharing information with each other through customer reviews, image uploading and discussion forums. In our Camera & Photo store, for example, customers upload personal photographs to our product detail pages and list the setting they used when taking the picture. We feel it’s important to give our customers a platform in which to communicate.
Paul Ryder, Amazon.com VP of Consumer Electronics
I think we will see the merging of social networking with e-commerce. For example, our company provides a gift registry service that has social networking features like photo albums, message books, e-Notification, and an RSVP system, plus a unique hyperlink that can be added to other social networking sites like MySpace.com. Our registry service can be added to existing websites, thus merchants have an instant social networking venue combined with e-commerce. Example: brides and moms-to-be can network with their friends via the registry and their friends can buy the merchant items from the gift list.
Peter DiSalvo, Felicite.com
It is no secret that social networking and Web 2.0 technologies are helping businesses market themselves. The big issue is how to inexpensively customize these components and use them within mobile environments. I believe that the seemingly unlimited power of Adobe Flex and the mobile ease of CMS's like Drupal will help keep production time down while maintaining high quality.
Jeffrey Daniels, HieroGraphix Media Solutions
The focus in the data backup and storage solutions market is shifting from price to service levels. The online-only ultra low-cost backup solutions need to mark the calendar, because new criteria are beginning to drive product and service selections. Clients have been burned by low-performing software and support staff, and the word is out that, especially with regard to remote data backup services, you really do get what you pay for.
Tommy Gardner, Remote Backup Systems
Micro-blogging — Twitter, Jaiku, etc. — gives a business the capability of interacting quickly and efficiently with a group of people who have actually chosen to communicate with them already. But it speaks to the bigger trend of mashing-up communication technologies such as IM, blogging and mapping to better market products and services. I can see this benefiting several industries immediately. Just think of the ability for anti-virus vendors to more quickly and dynamically tell people of new dangers, a retailer having a local lastminute sale on shoes, or even an agency such as the FDA having the ability to communicate immediately about recalled foods.
Kyle F. Flaherty, Engage In PR
As a provider of online and offline international personnel and career services, we see a steady shift to niche-market focused or vertical industry career sites with readily available personal service, away from anonymous one-size-fits-all job board solutions. Many of our clients, tell us that the latter — what they call the shotgun approach — has not worked for them. As they see it, it is not targeted enough to attract the right candidates.
Rob Delton, Germany-USA Career Center
Personalized Search technologies, social media and user-generated content are putting consumers in the driver’s seat even faster and with great impact. Long gone will be the standard algorithms and one behemoth listing of results. Businesses will need to create even more personalized, on-demand experiences and ensure they provide relevant, highly targeted content. Knowing your customer (behaviors, needs, demographics, and lifestyle) will be even more important and listening to your consumer base vital. They are in charge!
Sherri Maxson, PrairieWeb Internet Marketing
Expertise getting targeted visitors to your site then getting them to take action will continue to be the number one challenge to most website owners in the foreseeable future.
Ted Feely, Feely & Associates
There are two things that I believe will drastically change the way businesses market their products online. AJAX can improve the checkout process of an e-commerce store in many ways. The most prevalent opportunity is compressing the checkout process to a single screen or step. This will make a huge impact on e-commerce site usability and conversion rates. The second is RSS technology that holds the possibility of completely replacing email marketing — a thorn in the side of not only online customers but merchants as well. With RSS anyone can subscribe to “What’s New” pages, store blogs, testimonials, press areas and more. This is a very exciting time indeed!
Eric Anderson, neoverve