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Expert: How the proactive net can influence purchases
Browsing the Web doesn't take a lot of thought or attention, but even surfing-without-thinking leaves an impression on consumers. That is why brands need to think about how consumers not only find their content, but what these shoppers think about the content.
Kristina: What is the Proactive Net?
Dr. Tal Schwartz, Founder, Chairman & CEO, Clicktale: Being proactive means taking steps to prepare for all future outcomes. By the Proactive Net, we mean that the Internet will evolve to a place that takes proactive steps to help people achieve their goals (in terms of what they set out to do online). A good analogy might be a smart home - when someone walks in a room, the light will turn on because the smart home assumes the person would not want to sit in a dark room, and so on. This is all done in a way that is helpful and doesn't cause any interruption to the user.
Kristina: What kind of impact does the Proactive Net hold for customers?
Dr. Schwartz: The Proactive Net will help make people's digital lives better. Plus, it will be beneficial for businesses because they'll be helping their visitors achieve their goals. The idea is that the Proactive Net will have the ability to look at what millions of people have done on your website and figure out - based on what a visitor is doing right now - what his or her next move will (most likely) be, as well as the ultimate goal is that he or she would like to accomplish.
Think of the Proactive Net as a personal assistant, guiding you. It's not necessarily only about purchasing; it could even be a simple thing like an arrow showing you where to look on a page if you haven't found what you're looking for. It will emphasize what's important for the visitor at that moment, based on what he/she is doing.
Kristina: Why is this something online businesses need to be aware of?
Dr. Schwartz: Companies need to build the infrastructure and start optimizing towards the Proactive Net, because the end result is going to be a much better customer experience for everyone. Online businesses and retailers need an alternative solution to the "post-event" analytics problem. Enhancing technical support on a site is not an ideal solution, because few customers will wait around while the problem is being fixed. It is far easier for a frustrated customer to switch sites, apps or brands - and possibly never return again. In the future, the Proactive Net will lead to a more creative, contextual browsing experience that adapts to a visitor's unique goal at that moment.
Kristina: What can businesses do now to prepare for this changeover?
Dr. Schwartz: While the Proactive Net is futuristic, there are proactive steps that online businesses can take today, such as collecting behavioral data from the "conversations" they are having with their customers through their desktop and mobile sites, as well as with their apps. Using this data, they can then analyze it to understand the "why" behind their customers' behavior.
This "why" makes it easier to test assumptions based on findings to adjust and improve user experience on the site, and thus improve conversion rates as well. The key is to have several different interfaces for customers and not a single one, regardless of geographical location, time, mood, or mode of accessing the site.
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