If you’re familiar with social media than you know that the social media revolution has often be referred to as Web 2.0. Said another way, the ability to communicate in real time via the web through networks of like-minded people is considered the second iteration of the Internet.
In recent months I have heard countless people talking about what’s next for the world wide web. The reality is that Web 3.0 is already here and this is evidenced by those websites who are taking user behavior into consideration when defining an online user experience.
Web 3.0 is all about improving the experience of web site browsers and helping them make the right decisions quickly. Now that the Internet has expanded significantly and there are billions of pages of information, getting through that information effectively has become a challenge.
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.
In addition to collecting real time information, Web 3.0 is flexible enough to allow online merchants to integrate user history – past purchases, preferences, and actions around promotions and other once in time events. This allows each online retailer or provider to create unique user profiles based on purchase history, learned preferences and individual behavior to drive personalized recommendations.
These recommendations are made on actual data that is unique to the individual. Today’s web environment leverages the recommendations of others, top selling products, etc. to make recommendations. Unfortunately, this type of intelligence doesn’t work for everyone as it doesn’t take into consideration the unique preferences and buying behaviors of the individual.
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. There are many concepts of a recommendation engine already out there and a retail recommender isn’t such a bad thing.
For me the issues isn’t about tracking the behavior, it’s more about how it’s used. For example, if I only buy jeans once every other year, and an online retailer knows my buying behaviors, I’ll be grateful to get less email on a daily basis. This level of intelligence can make the buying experience much more beneficial for the end user and ultimately more economical for the retailer. I know they’ll never pass the savings on to me but you never know.
The concept of Web 3.0 is real and is coming to a store near you. My feeling is that It’s inevitable so don’t try to resist. Rather embrace the technology and learn how to best utilize it. Doing so may actually improve the buying experience.