Web 2.0? The second stage of development of the Internet, characterized especially by the change from static web pages to dynamic or user-generated content and the growth of social media.
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As more customers head to the Web to review products, make purchases and find information, forward-thinking companies need to learn how to leverage Web 2.0 to stay competitive.
Customers are talking, and you should be listening. As sites like Twitter and Facebook grow in popularity, more and more customers are expressing their opinions about products, services and companies through "tweets" and "status updates" on these sites.
According to one study, 83% of customers say product reviews influence their purchasing decision, and over 77% of online shoppers look for customer product reviews before making a decision. Whether they're positive or negative, customer product reviews can be beneficial for everyone involved -- one company found out through reviews that customers were often losing the cap to their USB drive, which convinced the company to develop a model with a swivel covering.
A website that uses Ajax allows content to be updated immediately when a user performs an action, unlike an HTTP request, which requires users to wait while a new page loads. E-commerce customers will be quick to go elsewhere if your site is slowing them down, and Gartner urges e-commerce companies to update their websites with Ajax technology if they want to improve the customer experience and remain competitive.
Capitalize on the popularity of social networking sites and blogs and start your own. Creating a community centered around a common interest or brand can really pay off -- you'll be able to connect with your customers whenever you want, tap into detailed information on your target audiences and gauge your customer's reactions to changes in products or services via comments or discussion boards.