Friday, August 25, 2006

Enhanced Customer Experience

Online sales are growing five times faster than store sales according to a benchmark study that reveals new trends in online shopping sites. As more companies turn to the Web to generate revenue, web designers and developers should review this study and develop skills to help organizations generate revenue.

"Leading retailers understand that 'customer experience' is the next competitive battleground," according to the study's author. "Ultimately, a company fosters a more loyal customer base, and customers are inclined to spend more." A press release is available from the Cisco's Internet Business Solutions Group. A more detailed analysis entitled Enhanced Customer Experience: A Benchmark Study (pdf) is also available for review.

The study concludes with four suggestions to help internet marketing executives stay ahead of the curve in the battle for the future. These recommendations offer sound advice for any Web professional regardless of whether or not the website currently offers products and services for sale: Twenty websites were evaluated in the benchmark study including the Top 10 U.S. Web retailers by revenue. Links to each site along with an analysis of the Web technology used at each website are listed below:

In summary the majority of the largest online retailers utilize one of two competing technology clusters as follows:

[Note: Many technologies are easy to detect by their file extension (for example, .jsp, .asp. aspx, etc.) The five sites marked "unknown" may use Java or some other technology I am not familiar with.]

Web designers and developers who wish to position themselves for career opportunities as online retailing continues to expand at a rate of 20 percent per year would do well to learn one of the four technologies listed above. Access Boston Market -- July for links to job opportunities for Web professionals with knowledge and experience using these skills.

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