Are Window Shoppers like Website Shoppers?

I think when most people look at their e-commerce website users, they generally put them in the same category as those casual shoppers who walk by and admire the window displays.   The retailer really wants to make a good impression, but you’d never drag a window shopper into your store and start suggesting options (well most don’t).

I watched a video on internet sales that could change all that.   If you have a chance watch the video, it is truly an innovative idea.  It is a one-on-one video salesman who can help you with 3’s product and services.  Ding!  The light bulb goes off; how can this be applied to other situations?

I’ve been working a lot lately with Node.js and Websockets, but I’ve been a little stumped as to how to actually use this in a practical situation.   And you guessed it… although the previous example mentioned used flash, the HTML5 salesman could be born.  3LiveShop used an expensive looking system however, but I bet you could similar results with traditional, ready to use products.  Could the same be done by giving tablets to salesmen already working at retail shops?

I started thinking beyond company salesmen working one-on-one, and started to think of a website as a store instead of a website.  If I was a shopper and saw someone looking at the same product as me, I might strike up a conversation and ask what they thought, if they knew of something better, etc.  While products have had comments on them for years, it is really a whole other experience to chat with someone in realtime.  If I saw something them might like, could I share that product with them?  What if I wanted to shop collaboratively, not by accident, but with a friend online?  I could share a link in an email or chat, but that is a very awkward experience (I know).

What would you think of seeing more engagement on websites?  Would it freak you out?   Would it be helpful?  I’d love to see some experimentation.

Why Google (and Twitter) Needs Authentic Accounts

When you think of the internet, you generally think of it as anonymous.   As liberating (and scary) as that is, it is also severely restrictive to what companies and other groups can create.   I know I am personally challenged with this everyday; I’d love to create certain features for clients, but am ultimately restricted by the trolls, spammers, and pranksters.

Unfortunately for the web, and everyone on it, there is only one solution: use your Facebook account.   While it is good to have the option, there are many situations where people don’t want to use my Facebook account.  I have a lot of experience in online recruiting, and I’ll tell you people do not want their personal and work lives mixing.

Could Google add a “Authenticated Account” layer to their authentication system?  They definitely could.   I read an article a few weeks back that they will add security by marrying phone numbers to Google accounts.  What about Twitter?  I know they already have authenticated accounts, but that’s only for VIPs.  Why not allow us simple folk to be authenticated?

An open system would be great, but I can’t see that being likely in the near future.  So I make a general plea: Please, please, please, give me authentic account options.