“You open up your preferences to the cloud, and the cloud becomes your personal shopper,” explains William Lawrence, Ph.D., professor of economics and entrepreneurship in NYIT’s School of Management.
A New Age for Marketing
Computer engineers and Web developers, meanwhile, are rapidly creating new technologies to encourage commercial transactions on mobile phones and computing devices like the iPad. Banks are touting new mobile banking technology that allows customers to deposit money by taking a picture of a check with their cell phones and sending the image to a secure bank server.
Marketers are on the forefront of Web 3.0 as well, with personalized advertisements cropping up on sites such as Amazon, Google, and Facebook based on a previous purchase or personal profile. These preferences are captured through online activity and stored by marketers in the so-called “cloud,” huge servers that store information and then send suggestions for purchases.
“You open up your preferences to the cloud, and the cloud becomes your personal shopper,” says William Lawrence, Ph.D., professor of economics and entrepreneurship at NYIT. “Let’s say your wife buys many pink items. That server will look for women’s clothes in pink, and she will be inundated with pink.”
These developments have created myriad opportunities for marketers, who can now pinpoint their pitches without needing newspapers, television, radio, or even direct mail. The Web also allows companies to monitor the effectiveness of ads and marketing strategies. Online analytics provide measurements that show how users navigate through a website, how long they spend on a page, what page they enter on, and which page they looked at last.
“The feedback is instant,” says Nehr, adding that this helps retailers adjust quickly to market responses. He says business owners may be debating whether customers will respond better to a 10 percent discount or free shipping. They can try one, and if it doesn’t work, move quickly to the other strategy.
“It’s a self-maintained process,” says Nehr. “You are running the program, monitoring the responses, and making the changes.”
Nehr notes that improved microprocessors have played a prominent role in the evolution of e-commerce. “The Web has been the great equalizer,” he says. “None of this would be possible without safe, reliable networks, and computer chips able to process huge amounts of data in increasingly smaller devices.”