I get your dilemma.
It doesn’t really matter whether you are an Ecommerce store with a lineup of physical products to sell or you are a coach eking out a living through phone consultations, if you are a part of the online landscape, to a certain extent you are vulnerable to the buzzwords that the world wide web takes to its bosom with so much enthusiasm.
Viral content, growth hacking and now the grapevine is singing with the mentions of Web 3.0.
I can get technical about this. But that won’t be of much use to you – the reader. Instead I would like to focus on the implications of Web 3.0 for your business and the key site and elements you can put in place to capitalize on the trend.
Get ready. This is one interesting read.
Web 1.0 vs. Web 2.0 vs. Web 3.0:
The World Wide Web is a labyrinth.
But there is a distinct hierarchy to the way it has evolved.
Think back to the era of static websites. I am talking pre-2004. The internet was a kind of brain dump. You as a business had only limited ways of reaching out to your buyers. You could publish information about your offerings through your static website. And if it impressed readers, they could take action on the content and purchase your products and services from your physical outlets or set up a direct appointment with you. You didn’t have the flexibility to significantly influence their journey. And the concept of credibility boosters and trust signals like third party reviews hadn’t really come into maturity. This was Web 1.0. And its keyword was information.
With the rise of Facebook and its brethren of social networking sites though, this disconnect and distance between businesses and their buyers started disappearing! Suddenly collaboration was what every brand was raving about. There was a distinct need to offer an enhanced user experience to the prospects and part of this strategy was to become easily accessible and more human to clients. Real time communication and feedback incorporation were introduced into the mix. And the Web 2.0 was born – the web that we all know and love.
So what is Web 3.0?
It is the natural next step in the progression of the World Wide Web.
It is defined by personalization and intelligence.
In Web 1.0 people discovered the delights of free content. They no longer had to thumb through encyclopedias to find answers to pressing problems. Search engines like Google did it for them. Through Web 2.0 people learnt that they could expect more from their online interactions. They could in fact go past the published content and connect with brands that produced this information.
Web 3.0 takes it up a notch. It marries information and collaboration and adds to it the decisive factor of personalization. Web 3.0 buyers will not have the time or the patience to sift through your site content to learn about new products. Or complain on social media to have their grievances known. They will expect to land on your page, see only deals that are tightly targeted to their specific interests and have your products automatically communicate with your system to submit help desk tickets. Web 3.0 is artificial intelligence and you better be prepared for it.
4 Simple Web 3.0 Attributes You Can Start Using in Your Business:
It is likely that the transition to Web 3.0 will take anywhere between 5 and 10 years to complete. But you can stay ahead of the curve with these simple tweaks:
1. Relational Responsiveness –
Responsiveness is something that all business websites boast of even today. But the Web 3.0 scenario will be a little different. With the Internet of Things (IoT) coming into its own, devices and products will be communicating with each other and they will react as per the preferences of your buyers. As an example, if you sell HVAC systems and your customer has specified certain threshold values of temperature and humidity as “danger marks” or indications of malfunction, then your unit might communicate with the client’s Apple Watch instructing it to pull up a pre-filled help desk ticket which he has to approve and request a home visit from the technician. Under such circumstances, each and every aspect of your online presence should be completely open to and compatible with a wide array of devices – some of which may not have the screen space to accommodate classic website design elements. Your site will be one node of a larger network and relational responsiveness is essential.
2. Use of 3D Avatars –
The healthcare sector has already made giant leaps in this regard with a pioneering Personal Health Record (PHR)project headed by Professor Thomas Huang. A basic tenet of Web 3.0 is improved user experience. And leveraging the power of 3D to create “avatars” that can simulate facial expressions, voice inflexions and nuances is just another way of bringing a more human touch to interactions. If your business can offer the assistance of a 3D shopping guide that can appropriately react to the preferences of users and personalize their experience with tailored product recommendations and hand holding, you will be leaps and bounds ahead of your competitors who are still struggling with video chat.
3. Gamification –
Gamification with a purpose represents the essence of Web 3.0. I am not talking about spitting Llamas or cartoons that make you laugh but do little else. I am hinting at taking what a site like nickelbronze.daddario.com has done and putting it on steroids. You have to provide an immersive experience to your customers where they can compare your product variations in an interactive and dynamic way or even shop in a virtual setting like at virtualeshopping.com
4. Social Bookmarking –
Chances are you have already invested in getting a professional to bookmark your site pages on platforms like Delicious and StumbleUpon. And you have a search box on your website to facilitate in-house content searches. Now take the two and marry them. An easy way to dip your toes in the Web 3.0 waters is to create a repository of blogs, products and brand information bookmarked by buyers and customers with particular characteristics and preferences. This way when someone matching an existing persona looks for items, you can encourage them to peruse content and recommendations of others like them, giving them a benchmark to work from and making their experience with you more memorable.
Web 3.0 is still a murky concept. But with time its specifics will become clearer. In the mean time you as a business need to know that all aspects of your brand from website design to content to your funnel should be geared towards personalization and more direct buyer interactions. It is the best pre-emptive action possible.