Innovate with Technology

Share: FacebooktwitterredditlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

Logitech mouseThis Christmas, I chose to avoid the malls as much as I could. I shopped online. I love the convenience. E-commerce has come a long way over the past 10 years. The vast variety of products one can acquire online is mind-boggling. Many companies have waived the shipping fee. Apart from some limitations with international shipping, the online shopping experience has improved dramatically.

The noted improvements include:

  • From brochureware to real storefront—gone are the days when companies simply post a list of products without the capability to process transactions. Customers now have the flexibility to browse, research and compare products, and make purchases instantly online.
  • From static pictures to multiple views—the former low resolution and static pictures have been replaced by clear, color images with a full complement of zoom features. Clothing sites are particularly advanced in this respect. Some eyewear sites allow you upload your picture and superimpose an eyeglass frame to get a feel for how you would look.
  • From basic product information to comprehensive product reviews—in addition to the information on a product, customers have access to reviews submitted by others. One could make an informed decision based on unbiased reviews.
  • From time-consuming search to intelligent categorization and quick advanced search—there is no need to spend time to scan through a long list of products. Smart categorization and search parameters can be used to filter irrelevant products. Some sites analyze past purchase behaviours and offer recommendations. This saves time and enhances the shopping experience.
  • From commodity to personal customization—instead of buying a standard product, customers could create their ideal combination of features. Oakley allows customers select the sunglass frame color and finish, lens tint, ear socks and icon colors. Burberry allows customers select the trench coat style, length, fabric and color, sleeve details, lining, buttons and belt. One can create an ideal product according to his preferences.
  • From leap of faith to hassle-free return—customers take a leap of faith that the product delivered would meet expectations. When they are not satisfied with the product, they need to return it. The unpleasant experience of waiting on a phone queue to acquire a return authorization number, incurring the cost of shipping, and waiting for weeks to receive a credit tend to deter online shopping. Such deterrents have been replaced by a more customer-friendly approach. Today, many companies provide a return label and they cover the return shipping cost. Customers pay a nominal restocking fee for that hassle-free return policy. Further, the availability of return options such as returning a product to a store adds convenience.
  • From lone shoppers to community—many shopping sites have built a community or forum where one can share his favourites, reviews and recommendations. On the chapters.indigo site, for example, one can create a profile to identify his interests, invite others to join his community, and share favourite lists, reviews and posts. The micro communities generate customer voices which companies could leverage to their advantage.

These improvements are the results of innovation and technology advancement. From the company’s perspective, it helps to serve the customers more effectively. From the customer’s perspective, the convenience makes it appealing. For my Christmas shopping, I saved time and eliminated the stress of commuting. The current rapid adoption of the mobile technology has furthered the growth of e-commerce. How would your business harness the wave of technology advancement and develop innovative solutions that delight your customers?

© Connie Siu 2013. All rights reserved.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To maximize business results, call Connie at 604-790-1220 or email us today!