Written by Professional Academy Tutor and Marketing Expert Peter Sumpton
Three Billion Users Can’t Be Wrong?
In 2005 the first billionth human to use the internet logged on and although we will never know their name (the one thing that Google cannot tell us) we can be self-assured that this number is still rising. In fact, over the past 20 years, internet users have increased from 1% to 40% of the global population (around 3.5 billion to date).
If you’re a bit of a geek like me, you can see what this looks like by clicking here.
Each one of these 3.5 billion will use the same websites, software and apps in different ways, which generates a new list of rules and regulations for marketers to get to grips with. We now consume media very differently to what we did 20 years, 20 months and even 20 days ago, bringing with it new factors that influence the way we seek out information and how it effects our decision making.
Regardless of what we are actually doing online, our expectations are forever heightened with the progressive technology we use.
We have become accustom to accessing the content we want, whenever and wherever we like. As online content has no limits, neither does our thirst for a useful, accessible, richer user experience. Meticulous descriptions, detailed data, honest reviews, high-resolution images and easy navigation all are pre-requisites.
Instant, direct and open communications are now the norm. Stock levels, purchase confirmation and delivery updates are expected instantaneously. But it is not only specification and delivery notes that consumers now expect – advice, guidance, information and issue resolutions are 24/7 as a matter of course, not just in a standard Dolly Parton (9 to 5).
The speed in which we can access information is almost instant and we expect our deliveries to be the same. Next day and 24 hour delivery seems too long. Unfortunately reality hasn’t caught up with its digital counterpart and we still have to wait patiently for packages to be delivered to old fashioned way. Downloads and drones are changing the way in which we view deliveries but the lag between online speed and offline distribution is ever present.
Like in 2005, 2014 saw a massive step change in digital media as mobile surpassed desktop usage, posing the problem of inconsistent screen sizes. We expect to see the same content, with the same features and we now expect a website to be responsive to our screen size.
There are a host of reasons why accessing a website may take longer than a second. If you search for Professional Academy on Google, the results of around 16.7million webpages take 0.47 seconds to reach you. Even a slight time-lag (say 2 seconds) on a webpage can lead to disinterested consumers.
All of the above attributes highlight just have far we have come digitally, in such a short space of time. But with all these positives come some negatives:
Privacy is a hot topic and nowhere more so than online. Your personal details, stored both locally and remotely (in more places than you might think) can make for an intuitive experience, but the danger of leaked information, hacked accounts or unauthorised use of images are ever apparent (and I’m not talking about the photo you have of a cat with a melon on its head)!
For everything to keep working together digitally numerous downloads and updates to individual pieces of software are required. With all of these needing to exchange information, security is a major issue.
Example: eBay Purchase, eBay contacts PayPal for payment, payment is transfers between two PayPal accounts, Paypal contacts your bank for final payment. Within a blink of an eye, at least three different pieces of software have been used – and that’s just what we can see happening.
It is easy to become frustrated with inconsistent online v offline pricing from the same company, leading very quickly to a loss of trust. Like a flock of birds, migration to competitors is promptly done and difficult to overturn (not just for the winter).
Credit card fees, booking fees and shipping costs can all hike a price over and above the expected (a common frustration, one that often leads to virtual abandonment). I mean with an £8.50 booking fee for an Adele gig, I would expect her to bring me my drinks. Openness and transparency are always welcomed, particularly with financial transactions.
The digital environment possess its own set of rules and regulations that organisations may abide by, where expectations are heightened, content is a necessity and time isn’t measured in days or hours, but in minutes and seconds. I could ramble on, but I need to take a photo of my cat, he’s got his head stuck in a melon, again!
Professional Academy are world leading providers of Professional Qualifications in Sales, Marketing, Management and Digital Marketing. If you would like to speak to Professional Academy about which qualification is right for you please get in touch today or head to the Professional Academy store to find the right course for you.