Monday, October 19, 2009

Web 3.0 Is Here To Stay: Coming To An Online Retailer Now!

Social media is all the rage. It seems to permeate almost every conversation people are having today - but it wasn't always that way. I guess the the concept of Web 2.0 has taken on a life of its own. Many people are asking what's next for the Web when we think about it's evolution.

The question we need to be asking ourselves now is essentially what's next for the web. Will we be focusing on second life and avatars or is there some other direction we will be going in? The answer is already here in the form of Web 3.0. The evolution of the web is based upon sites that utilize consumer behavior to improve the user experience.

The idea behind Web 3.0 is really simple. Leverage the data you have on individuals to improve their future buying experiences. This data comes from a variety of sources but is designed to eliminate the endless searching you might do for a simple task online.

Enter behavioral data and the concept of Web 3.0. In the next iteration of the web world, users' activities are being tracked closely. These activities include a range of behaviors like their on-site behavior, purchase history, order frequency, size, and quantity as well as tastes and preferences they have exhibited while surfing the Net.

The beauty of behavioral data and predictive modeling is that past data can be used. Tools like a retail recommender or recommendation engine take this data combined with real time behavioral data to make sophisticated calculations that are designed to shape the buying experience. Web 3.0 allows for updating and refining that information in real time. As more behavior is tracked, profiles become more robust and more accurate.

Web 3.0 intelligence anonymously and securely analyzes every customer and web browser to your website. Learning patterns and the context that drives buying decisions will be used to create a highly personalized user experience for each individual. This may be a point of concern for all of you privacy buffs out there but the reality is that web sites track user behavior today and the information becomes more and more sophisticated.

Some individuals are going to be significantly concerned about what data is being tracked and how that information is being used. I believe that all users must give their permission to be fully engaged in a Web 3.0 world. Once information is given, the user experience can be liberating, allowing your past behavior to shape your buying experience. This might actually cut down on much of the inaccurate and unrelated solicitations you receive today.

Web 3.0 is upon us. As web sites continue to collect and use more of your behavioral data, your online buying experience is going to change. One can argue if this change is for the better. However, I believe that it can dramatically improve your buying experience and improve the way retailers market products and services.


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