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#2.04: The “Be The Customer’s First Stop” Issue

1 > Put the competition right on your site
2 > Be the most convenient first stop
3 > Drive them your way with expertise
4 > You’ve got to see this: Convenience is king

1 > Put the competition right on your site

Citibank.com is the one-stop consumer banking site for many, as visitors can view all of their accounts — Citi and non-Citi — right on the Citibank Web site. Citibank is working with Yodlee.com, a Web account aggregator that uses HTML to pull information off of one site and deposit it onto another. A customer visiting Citibank.com, for example, can type in his password and account ID numbers, enabling the aggregator to access and display all account information for Citi and non-Citi accounts, including credit card, flyer miles, and more. Citibank attracts and keeps customers on its site, winning greater opportunity to up sell its products and services, reducing the risk of being undersold by a competing institution.

The lesson: Offer your customers a service so complete, there’s no longer a reason to visit your competitors’ sites.

More info:
Interactive Week, April 17, 2000

http://www.yodlee.com

2 > Be the most convenient first stop

Google is the first destination for many Web surfers as it relies on convenience — and its competition — to stand out from the other search engines. A visitor enters a query, Google runs the search with its own engine, and then invites you to try the same query on competing engines. Click through to another engine and you’ll find that Google has entered the parameters and the search has already been run. With nothing for sale but advertising space, search engines are racing for traffic. Google highlights its own service first, and makes it easy for you to access additional info from the competition. This is a convenience that makes Google your first, and often your only visit.

The lesson: Sometimes being the best means leveraging the competition, not beating it. Capitalize on what’s already offered in the marketplace, and be the first one they visit for that service.

More info:
http://www.google.com

3 > Drive them your way with expertise

CNET’s Shopper.com drives traffic to its site while earning affiliate commissions, in exchange for its expertise in the technology products market. Consumers visit this one-stop comparison-shopping guide when they’re looking to buy electronics. A visitor tells the engine what product he’s looking for. The engine then searches hundreds of retail sites, displaying a list of places carrying that product. The CNET search yields information on price and availability, letting the customer find the best deal. CNET also links to each retailer, tracking affiliate commissions on all sales driven hrough its site. This service is a convenience for customers and a profit-center for CNET. The lesson: Help customers make smart choices, and they’ll return to you whenever there’s a decision to be made.

More info:
http://www.shopper.com

4 > You’ve got to see this: Convenience is king

Companies are leveraging their competition and demonstrating expertise, and consumers are responding. What we’ve really got here is some evidence that in the end, it’s convenience — even more than a competitive price — that will woo your customers. If you’re still not convinced then check out this GartnerG2 report titled “Price is Nice but Convenience Comes First” and see why convenience is ruling the day.

More info:
http://www.gartnerg2.com/research/rpt-0801-0102.asp

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