By Clive Gold – Marketing CTO, EMC Corporation, Australia and New Zealand
I hate physical shopping, yet I kind of like shopping online (I’ll even confess to enjoy it, if the wife is not around). Why? There are a couple of reasons – transparency and control.
Transparency because within a few minutes I can compare prices and features from all over the globe and become an instant expert. Perhaps not expert but at least well informed, compared to the last time I asked a shop assistant a question. They simply read the box, which I had done, and then tell me they don’t know.
Everyone loves giving their opinion, (your reading this!). So having decided on my most likely purchase, I look for reviews, problems, issues, etc. Now I get to hear hundreds of user’s opinions about the product that either reinforce my decision or change it for me. The other day a media-player with all the features and at a reasonable price looked good. However, on the chat forums it had more complaints than a plane load of Poms… so I went to my second choice!
In the end it’s probably that I’m totally in control, I decide on my terms and in my time. There are no extraneous other factors affecting my decision. A perfect situation… well there is no such thing.
The downside of shopping online is you instantly become a target for the retailer, and essentially they begin spamming you. The problem is I don’t know if I should take offence or not… I’m interested in their stuff, I bought some of it, but I’m not interested in all their stuff!
Last piece of this puzzle is I don’t like getting ripped off! For example last week I re-jigged my home telecommunications setup. Combining two teenagers with a 12GB broadband limit was causing a great deal of pain. So I compared my $65/month set up with what was available in the market. Oops, for about $10 more a month we could get 10x the data, and by the way the landline with calls included that will save us about $100 per month. Very difficult decision to make!
So why would this major Telco provider not keep me as a customer and suggest a new plan? The reason is not profiteering as it will now cost them far more to win me back, but data! Today they are literally clueless, they don’t have all the data they need in one place, and they can’t analyse it! But that is changing…
To be continued in part 2…