How the Internet has Adapted to Better Suit You as a ConsumerBy Angelica Malin
Born too late to explore the Earth and too early to explore space, the current generation of people get the enigmatic task of exploring the Internet. Eternally growing and accessible to anyone with a WiFi connection, the World Wide Web has come a long way since its inception in 1990. Since then, it has had an undeniable effect on the world around it, facilitating widespread globalisation and expanding the reach of information. However, in its near-thirty years as part of the public consciousness, it has also found itself affected by the world around it. It has evolved and changed in an effort to become a better place for the people using it.
In 2011, Coca-Cola launched the “Share a Coke” campaign, encouraging consumers to find their name printed on a coke can. That touch of personalisation was hugely successful, boosting sales and bolstering interest in the company. Online, it is both easier and more difficult to imitate this success. On the one hand, websites have access to specific knowledge about consumer habits that could easily allow them to highly personalise a website. However, while a touch of personalisation is nice, too much can come off as “creepy” and invasive. But, just because it is difficult, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Amazon’s recommendations are famously well suited to consumer needs, suggesting products that fall perfectly within customers’ interests. Other websites take to professional external help. Mr Green co, an award-winning online casino provider, has made a name for itself in 13 countries but is continually seeking to improve the user experience. By aligning itself with a NetEnt-Ve Global partnership, it ensures it has a team of professional level marketers and data analysts working to suit online players’ needs.
If you go shopping in a clothing store and want to ask a question about stock, there is always someone on call for you to approach. If you are shopping online, your options become more limited. Email doesn’t provide instant response; phone calls can have you waiting on hold for hours. Retailers have found solutions to work around these problems with live chat, where the press of a button puts you in contact with the person you are looking for. This increased customer support leads to increased customer satisfaction, especially for companies that go the extra mile. Chewy, an online pet food retailer, has used live chat information to send customers bereavement flowers when they try to return food due to a pet death.
Not everyone has the time or money to travel the world and visit all kinds of world-class museums. However, thanks to virtual museum tours, time and money don’t need to be a hurdle. Dozens of museums and national monuments have created 360-degree online tours for travel-lovers that can’t travel 24/7. From art museums like the Louvre to the Smithsonian, the world is just a few taps at the keyboard away.
The internet, like a fine wine, has aged well with time. It has developed positively in important areas, making itself a pleasant experience for all. How future technology will help it evolve further is an exciting question we’ll have to have answered with time.