14 December, 2012

eBay’s Contextual and Personalized Future with its head of mobile – YouTube

It’s a heckuva opening line for an interview “Who are you”, but it starts an interesting conversation about mobile technology and how consumers will likely start to use them in every-day shopping.


  • Consider selling your products on eBay as well as your store front.
  • Smartphones give away a lot of info about us, but we’re addicted to them so they’re not going away. Right now they’re primarily tracking, in the near future, they’ll be predictive (anticipating your requirements). that prediction is based on personalisation and contextualisation. In other words – what, when and where You do what you do.
  • As a supplier, you must be a “good citizen” and offer a good value proposition if you want consumers to share some of that personal information about themselves.
  • Personalisation, contextualisation, and convenience becomes a competitive edge. Here’s an simple scenario of how it could work.
    The consumer’s viewpoint:
    Imagine you’re running late for a birthday party. You’ve been busy and haven’t yet bought a gift. As you park your car outside the restaurant, you hop on your phone to buy a bunch of flowers. Your smartphone shows you florists where you are right now (not where you live).  With one click you call the florist, tell them what you want, and get the flowers delivered to the restaurant during the dinner meal. Whew! You’re out of the dog-house…
    The business owner’s viewpoint:
    Another happy customer – well done!  You’ve just created cashflow; created another opportunity for someone to rave about you to their friends and family, both offline and online; and added another customer to your marketing for repeat business.
  • Relevance is important. Having information about your consumers is essential for any business, but understanding that information in the “now” time frame is key to engaging with them. For example, your customer’s marital status may be a factor in products you recommend, but not knowing that status changed three years ago can trigger friction in your relationship with that customer.
  • Part of being a good citizen involves respecting your customer’s privacy.  If you collect personal information, they need to know how it will be used.

More glimpses into the future

  • Imagine if you could walk into a store, wave your phone around the horizon, and see the areas/isles of the stores light up that fit your buying preferences – where the kids toys are, where the kitchen gadgets are, where the dress-suits are, etc.  (yes please!  save me from wandering endlessly around the supermarkets looking for that item that’s been moved yet again!)
  • Imagine if your smartphone could make in-store recommendations about what shirts go with these pants you’ve just tried on…
  • Imagine a generation of people that don’t even consider desktops/laptops.  For them, technology is smartphones and tablets!

Mobile is inevitable – embrace it.  It’s more than just a website, it’s a whole new way of interacting with consumers.  And it’s chock full of opportunities for new channels and new technologies to bring customers to your businesses!