Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Stickiness is Back, but With a Difference

The New York Times notes that Web ecommerce sites have been going long on content again, but whereas the dot-com era saw waves of sites adding syndicated content today's ecommerce sites are rediscovering the value of unique content from customers that guides and adds depth to the online shopping experience. Content that offers genuine contextual value to a purchaser is the key, as opposed to discussion forums that oftentimes have little focus and specific added value, along with "atmospheric" content that gives people the feel that their online purchase has both physical reality and subliminal appeal. Today's stickiness is about providing just enough content to guide a person to a buying decision, merchandizing tools that provide atmosphere and relationship building in a well-planned and usable context. Tools such as Endeca's Guided Navigation also help to provide the right content into the buying experience, creating an endless combination of content-studded "kiosks" in which users may consider purchases as they consider different categories of content and merchandise. If it works for toys and books there's no reason that it cannot work for more forms of premium content - for those companies who are willing to allow user-centric navigation reign in developing premium content services. Here's to stickiness - and to content that adds value to published content without a lot of publisher-oriented nonsense in the way of getting its value to market.
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