How E-Commerce Can Deliver Exceptional Experiences
The digital realm has unlocked a world full of unbridled opportunities to e-commerce players. No longer limited to areas in which they have a physical presence, e-commerce businesses can now target customers and address demands of neighborhoods virtually anywhere they choose to. This world of opportunities comes with its own unique set of challenges. While catering to an international audience, an e-commerce player has to also counter the constantly intensifying global competition that’s brimming in the digital marketplace. Here, exceptional customer experiences aren’t an option for online businesses, it is an absolute necessity.
Well-constructed content inevitably emerges as the king when extending an evolved customer experience. It plays a central role in engaging customers and ultimately leads them to their purchase decision. However, content becomes nothing more than a message in a bottle if it fails in terms of execution. This presses on the importance of effective content delivery to the end-user.
Make your content come a‘live’
A captivating fusion of some of the most interactive technologies can make your webpage a piece of art, drawing benchmark-setting engagement. Consumers access Content using an array of devices with different specifications. This includes smartphones, tabs, laptops, desktops, smart TVs, set-top boxes, and gaming consoles some with newer technology with faster processing abilities and some that are older generations. This brings the onus back on the service providers to ensure a seamless browsing experience that’s both device and network-agnostic.
Luckily with the right technology, browsers can be auto-detected along with device, OS (Operating System), its supported content formats, and connection speed to extend optimal playback and a high-quality, omni-channel experience. Companies with omni-channel experience are observed to retain 89 percent of their customers. 33 percent customers are retained even when the omni-channel experience extended to a customer is weak. A robust storage integration can ensure effective management of a large content library, reduce access cost (which can even exceed storage costs), speed of data transfer, and provide greater control of how content is ingested, stored, replicated, and delivered based on user requirement and traffic pattern. This combination of technology makes your user experience truly come alive.
Gone in 5 seconds: The essence of speed in content
Curated content on a website comprises a range of static and dynamic content. The challenge, typically, is that this content requires different solutions for content delivery. Speed plays a pivotal role here. Studies have indicated that most consumers are more likely to abandon it if the content latency (delay in loading of content) is even around 5 seconds. The bounce rate sharply rises if a video buffers for the second time as does the likelihood that a customer leaves your site for a competitor’s website.
Pass or Passé: How the infrastructure makes a difference
The public internet can have network congestion-related issues, especially with increasing content complexity and changing network conditions. Limelight Networks, a Content Delivery Network (CDN), for instance, counters this challenge by bypassing the public internet. It leverages its private network infrastructure consisting of a comprehensive fiber optics framework. This minimizes the dependency on the public internet for access to information and enables an e-commerce player to address high surges in traffic with greater flexibility. It reduces the loading issues and service downtime during high volume shopping seasons. Moreover, a distributed network of servers ensures that content is cached closer to the end-user for a faster experience.
Securing the curated content
An advantage that CDNs bring to the table is that their data is largely distributed across the globe which can minimize the scope of DDoS attacks – a frequent nuisance that also caused the service outages of Amazon, Twitter, Netflix, PlayStation Networks, and Spotify, amongst others last year. Plus there are options to add additional layers of security to protect sensitive data such as customer’s personal information and sensitive transactional data through capabilities, data masking, and encryption. This results in end-to-end security of your content.
In a nutshell, e-commerce companies must squeeze out every remaining bit of content latency and ensure that the customer experience they provide remains unaffected from the baffling conundrum of devices, location, network, data accessibility, security, and other factors in play. This helps your rich and dynamic content do what it is intended to do, i.e. influence the end-user, convert site visits to sales … and not become another message in a bottle, floating endlessly upon the ocean of data on the internet.
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