Tag: Shifting

How’s Your "Ecabulary"? Shifting Our Perceptions of Words in the Ecommerce World


Megan, a college sophomore at Indiana University, punched her credit card number into a website with a mailing address somewhere in China. She needed to buy a new $800, 36″ plasma TV with FREE DELIVERY for her Sorority House. Seems that there was an “accident” that found the old TV in the bathtub wearing a pink tee shirt and a happy face drawn on it with lipstick–the day after a weekend “study party.”

Megan’s dad at home in Park Ridge, IL meanwhile, shreds enough junk mail daily to stuff enough scarecrows to protect all of Iowa’s corn crop, and he melts old credit cards on the stove and burns every other document that list his name-even the bill from the lawn mowing service for raking leaves. He believes that punching in a credit card into a computer is like giving his cash to the devil to buy coal. Too risky.

Generational differences in how ecommerce and communication online is perceived, accepted or not is a hot topic and the biggest challenge for marketers to get Megan’s dad to pony up his credit card to buy online, trust the system or sign up for a social media site and get hip, man. Like any other technology, change is unwelcome when it involves a lot of reprogramming the mind as well as the remote control. Simply suggesting a shift in how to view a topic can be enough to get a new dialogue started.

One way to define these differences in generational views of the web is to use a invented word to describe this phenomenon. Here it is: Ecabulary. Yes, it sounds more like a medical term describing a part of your lower gastro intestinal tract, yet it’s a easy way to differentiate some subtle and big shifts in psychology of using the ecommerce more each day.

Psychology and the internet–how we buy, sell , research, learn, listen, talk, etc. is still less than 20 years old. Concepts of trust, intimacy, emotions and expectations are falling under different levels of personal adjustment and acceptance based on demographics, gender, race, culture, religion, education, geography, as well as the sophistication level of one’s employer and the technology utilized in daily work.

Here’s a list of some examples of old vocabulary expectations and new ecabulary realizations highlights differences and perception of consumers regarding ecommerce.

Relationship-Elationship: We think of relationships in a more emotional aspect of the human connection: see, touch, smell, hear. We’re able to use all our tactile senses to size up relationships as they grow. Elationships are fragments of data, we don’t always know where, what, why, how or who that “someone is” behind the font or even the picture. Their voice to us is words. No inflection, cadence, accent, pacing, breathing, laughter, sadness, etc. We begin to form opinions of this someone from only a few clues-relying on our bias, stereotypes and level of intellect to form judgments or rationalize the situation. Trust and commitment is a deeper concern and lingers on.

Intimacy-Etimacy: Intimacy is a highly charged word in humans; a word saved for special things, special people and rarely used by us in a casual context. Intimacy in ecommerce can be dangerous to our emotional balance because we want to believe the person’s expressions and sincerity in whatever dialogue we’re having, yet the lack of tactile clues and belief of a viable, validated/legitimate peer leads to perpetual suspicion for many people. Etimacy is much more restrictive and guarded than what would be described as intimacy.

Authenticity-Ethenticity: Authentic suggests a certain grounded-ness and genuineness to something be it a product, food, recipes, friendships and the like. Ethenticity relative to products, services and social network relationships are missing parts of human touch and the chemistry that goes with it. Fragmented conversations, days between twitters, tweets and postings creates inconsistent messages, raising doubts to the authentic intentions of the relationships. Delayed gratification becomes a lost art.

Deal-Eal: Doing business, making a deal on a handshake and a promise is not part of our web world. Enter ecommerce and the “Eal.” No face, no handshake, no voice-only a PayPal logo, a security firewall that “looks authentic” and we give our credit card number to a stranger because the website looks legitimate, or should we say “egitimate?” Either way we’ve become more conditioned, even desensitized, to giving away data we long held in total secrecy unless we say the eyeballs of the person we’re making the deal.

Emotion-Eemotion: Similar to intimacy, emotion can be based on words written, photos that could be real or stock photos from Getty Images. Graphs, testimonials, a video presentation, as well can be 100% truthful, yet because no physical presence, a slight doubt can linger. No voice inflection, eye contact, sweat on the forehead, the broken arm in a cast, the child standing next to you. For us primates that have been programmed for face recognition, ecommerce is a challenge.

Opportunity-Epportunity: Suspicion hangs over ecommerce as long as deceptive people and thieves live on earth. Risk is ever-present and we continue to seek more checks and balances the higher the price tag goes. Brand name businesses have the edge in the trust factor.

Reputation-Eputation: Social networking sites are getting better at dismissing the fakes. LinkedIn and others have filters and kill switches that will cut out those who are reported as liars or deceptive. Big companies have an easier time selling their brand as legit than the plasma TV folks online in China, but this is changing.

Voice-Evoice: Tones, pitch, timbre, baritone, tenor, nasal, bass, soothing, irritating, authoritative, dimwitted-all describe human voice. Evoices lack the human element of comparing/contrasting and reference points. Evoices can’t elicit memories or help us retrieve clues to help us make decisions or confirm impressions. Evoice is hard to create a brand called “individual personality” or humanness that helps ground us. A customer service tech named Steve, living in India, is hard to accept for some skeptics living in Omaha.

Identity-Edentity: Like the Second Life site of make believe for adults, our identity outside ecommerce is composed of experiences we’ve left with others, as well as the residue we take with from them. Identity, as defined as “you” is complex and ever-changing in our perceptions of self as we grow, learn, love, fail, or succeed. Edentity can be made to be magically perfect. Flaws, faults, blemishes and age lines can be erased liked the ecommerce video ads wipe soap scum way in two seconds. One’s edentity can be intentionally or unconsciously fabricated to fit our modified public self we choose to present and leave the wrinkles and bad stuff off the record. Like the weight stated on your driver license: it never changes for some people.

Peers-Eers: Credentials, accomplishments, press, media exposure, pages on Google can suggest more power, fame-even wealth than is actually the case. Illusions abound and smoke and mirrors are on sale now. Peers know you one way, but Eers only see the face of the public relations spin and marketing angle whether be your Facebook, LinkedIn, your alumni bio, or your company profile. What appears on screen can be distorted and presumed to be something more or less than what the real person behind the credentials is all about. Good or bad, the consequences of basing decisions solely on Eers words can last a long time.

Perception-Erception: Like reputation and Relations, Perception is based on combined experiences a person has to form certain biases, or heuristic devices to make fast decisions. Ecommerce affords more tools to the intended marketer to sway or dis-sway a person from doing something without more data, clues or time to decide. “If you don’t purchase these tickets in 2 minutes, they will be put back into the For Sale slot.” Decide NOW!

Attitude-Ettitude: Attitude is courted by intention and self-confidence status. Ettitude can be masked and distorted with phrasing and pictures to persuade based on guilt, fear, loss, authority, scarcity, social proof, habit, consistency, among other elements of persuasion theory. Attitude when turned to Ettitude takes time to sort and define all the messages and intentions.

Energy-Egerny: Personal energy is more than physical activities like gestures, fast walk/run, facial movements, rate of speech, etc. Energy is an aura that surrounds a person in ways we can’t always define. Intellectual, sexual, athletic, business energies are all different. Egerny is subjective, and, once again, be manufactured to be what the provider wants to present. Like edited video tapes, different messages can come from the same mouth.

Credibility-Eredibility: Longevity, loyalty, success, value-all part of credibility. Eredibility relies on ecommerce policies and others to police the web to sort through the bad product and swindlers. Credibility remains with compelling value, stayed products and consistent reviews. Longevity in business is not a ecommerce value due to its adolescence age. Value is the operant word.

Behavior-Ehavior: Bad behavior/Bad ehavior all get noticed fast and word spreads even faster. Fortunately, some things remain the same.

Believe-Elieve: One phrase describes the similarities: Trust from other sources to confirm our impressions.

If you’re selling products and services via ecommerce, ask yourself these questions as you constantly revise your marketing/branding/deliverables via the latest technology:

1. Does our product or service marketing tools point to strong trust and consistency in the vocabulary/ecabulary of ecommerce?

2. Do we allow/encourage/direct the customer to utilize as many human senses as possible to experience our product/service to make a decision faster and confidently?

3. What can you do to add one more emotional trigger for the customer’s sense of sight, sound, touch, taste, smell that will keep their attention longer?

4. Is there a way to allow the customer to become more interactive and experiential in the purchase or review as they shop?

These four questions allow you to consider not only all the tactile potentiality of a customer’s needs, but encourages you to look for other add-ons of experience and tie-ins/alliances to secure all the senses. For example, offering free music downloads, humor utilizing with video or clever ads, coupons, videos that instruct, etc. seek out alliances and successful outlets that generate that certain buzz that you desire. Ride their wave, rent their waves if you have to.

Lastly, watch for themes, traditional events/celebrations and current events to tie the customers present sensory states that are being bombarded in our 24/7 world of news updates and tie your story and products/services into their real need right now.

Follow these ideas and you secure more revenue, er, evenue for your business from Megan…and her dad.


Seven Transforming Trends Shifting Work Opportunities Online


The Internet has affected and altered the world of work as we once knew it. Seven important trends have both resulted from and fueled the penetration of the Internet into every corner of the world.

To understand these trends will significantly increase your awareness of what new kinds of online and telecommuting work have come into existence as a result. These trends have produced whole new work categories-jobs that did not exist ten, or even two, years ago-some of which were not even possible before.

Trend #1: The Changing Economy Has Caused Increased Outsourcing

Given the challenges of the current economy, many companies have determined that online outsourcing some portion of their work leads to significant savings and better performance, while allowing them to focus on their “core business.” Through online outsourcing, businesses can gain access to skills, knowledge and expertise that would be expensive or time-consuming to develop in-house.

Additionally, companies have found that by taking advantage of the added capabilities of online talent that are available to them through online outsourcing, they are able to increase their innovation and reduce their time-to-market. This can significantly accelerate their market responsiveness through the design, development and production of new products.

The movement towards ever-increasing outsourcing by businesses has created a flood of new online work opportunities. There are many types of online outsourcing services-call centers, customer support providers, customer relation management firms, data processing services, virtual assistant agencies, and telesales specialists, to list a few. This trend has resulted in the need for and the proliferation of increasingly large contractor databases offering online outsourcing services.

Trend #2: Globalization of Business Has Created New Online Work

Now that the world is the marketplace, many new jobs have been created based on increased needs for people to bridge the previous cultural, monetary and language divisions, and the limitations this dividedness formerly imposed. If you are bilingual or multicultural, your employment possibilities abound.

Companies like abGlobal hire bilingual translators to serve hundreds of clients, from large government agencies and law firms to nonprofit organizations and private individuals. There are many other agencies that enlist expert freelance translators to handle the deluge of translation needs the Internet has generated.

Without a doubt, the ability to speak English is also a significant asset for finding work in this global world of business. Because the Internet is primarily an English-speaking medium, small businesses, as well as mega-corporations, realize that they need to acquire or improve their English writing and speaking ability. In order to compete, they need to be able to communicate clearly and precisely in English. Moreover, their Webpages, emails, articles, sales materials and customer support documents must reflect mastery of standard English.

Companies like ISpeakUSpeak hire native English speakers to work one-on-one as English language trainers with students worldwide through a series of English conversations with their trainers, and then receive immediate feedback in order to improve. This language-related example is just one of the many job functions that have emerged because the Web has globalized business.

Trend #3: Glocalization of Business also Has Created New Online Work

To understand the term “glocalization,” think about the two words it combines… global and local. Glocalization describes a product or service that is developed globally, but adapted locally in order to accommodate the consumers particular to each local market. The products or services of an online business are tailored to conform to local laws, customs, culture, and consumer preferences. Services that are effectively “glocalized” are of much greater interest and utility to local customers, and as such, are significantly more marketable.

Yahoo! is an example of a company that practices glocalization. It markets a portal that is viewed worldwide. But it offers multiple distinct versions of its website and services, customizing content and language to appeal to individuals who live in some 25 different countries, including China, Russia and Canada.

An ever-increasing number of businesses are developing their own version of glocalization in an effort to build their customer bases and increase sales. VIPdesk.com is an example. They describe the “glocalization” of their services as “international coverage and presence combined with local expertise.” For example, VIP Desk hires a local home-based professionals to perform web-based Concierge Services for clients visiting the area. The local expert responds to requests for information, guidance, and assistance with localized tasks such as restaurant reservations, transportation services or tickets to shows or events.

VIP Desk currently offers a customized local version of global services in 20 market areas: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis and Toronto, Canada.

Trend #4: The Internet has Significantly Expanded Shopper Expectations

Shoppers now expect knowledge along with their products-condensed and useful information through which they can become fully educated and savvy before they make a buying decision. They are not so much looking for recommendations as they are seeking a basis for making their own intelligent choices.

Consumers also want more options-a fuller selection of choices than they generally can find in a brick-and-mortar store. And they expect convenience while making their purchases, with full support afterwards.

This trend of expanded customer expectations and demands has generated new categories of jobs that are designed to address these needs. Increased customer requirements have changed the landscape for all businesses-traditional as well as online-if they want to thrive, or even if they just want to survive.

As an example of the types of jobs this trend has generated, VIP Desk hires at-home “Brand Ambassadors” to help companies differentiate their company “from the crowd” in order to build customer loyalty. Brand Ambassador services help companies to:

  • attract and retain their best customers,
  • increase customer engagement,
  • extend their brand into the daily lives of their customers,
  • capture lifestyle and behavior data of their customers,
  • differentiate their brand from competitors, and
  • increase customer satisfaction scores and lifetime customer value.

Trend #5: Social Media Has Changed the Needs & Challenges of Business

Companies know that social media is now a critical component of their customers’ decision-making processes. Consumers are more likely to make buying decisions based on what they read from people they trust on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, forums, blogs, Wikipedia, and Yahoo!Answers.

Here are some market statistics:

  • 72% of customers use social media to research customer care reputation before making a purchase.
  • 92% expect companies to have a social media presence for customer service.
  • 66% want companies to increase the use of social media for customer service.
  • This new phenomenon creates online jobs that were never even contemplated before-jobs that involve interesting tasks, such as:
  • capturing data from across the social media landscape,
  • analyzing and identifying trends,
  • actively listening to social media conversations,
  • responding to customers through social media channels,
  • participating in and understanding global conversations,
  • merging social media data with other data sources, and
  • integrating social media when generating contact lists.

One category of work that has been generated by this trend is “social media intelligence and analytics.” What new tasks and services are needed to maintain and maximize a company’s brand presence in the world of tweets, blog posts, and hashtags? What talents, skills, and strategies you need to put into play to be successful, to find employment, and to establish a career in the world of social media? (Consult Chapter 8 for answers to these questions).

Trend #6: Ubiquitous Access to Online Education Has Removed Former Barriers to Learning

What degrees and/or credentials do you already have? What additional certifications, degrees or credentials do you need? The Internet has significantly shifted the playing field for those who need or want to know and learn more.

The goalpost for what you need to know and be able to do is advancing constantly. On the other hand, you now have ready access to whatever degrees, credentials, certifications or training you need or want, simply by locating a school or program online.

Where once an education was an event, it is now an ongoing and continuing process. And where once you may have been forced to choose between going to school and taking a job, now you can have a job and go to school at the same time.

This ubiquitous access we now have to learn what we need to learn, when and where we want to learn it, means that it is now possible for you to enter areas of work you may once have thought to be beyond your reach. By attending school, you can prepare yourself to acquire that better job you always wished you could acquire.

As well as opening up opportunities to learn anything, anytime, from anywhere, the online education movement has generated many new types of jobs in its own right. There are positions for online college faculty, online high school teachers, online tutors, online trainers, and online training materials producers, including online training videos.

Now that access to learning has, thanks to the Web, become ubiquitous, the hunger for learning-learning throughout life-has created its own ever-escalating set of demands.

Trend #7: Access to Information Has Made Us Want to Control Our Own Physical and Mental Welfare

The Internet has made us advocates for our own health, and active participants in everything related to it. Where we once may have been completely dependent and reliant on local health facilities and personnel, we now want to assume more responsibility for our own physical and mental wellbeing. Instead of feeling helpless about a symptom or diagnosis, we actively seek and have access to quality information on that topic, including alternative treatments, health maintenance practices that could make a difference, and even possible alternative diagnoses.

This trend to want to take control of our minds and bodies has been fed by the increase in available accurate information, and, in turn, has created an online market demand for information, consulting, and interaction with professionals.

Ask Yourself “What Does This Mean to Me?”

Considering these seven trends, where would you fit in the cyber world of work? What new kinds of online and telecommuting work that now has come into existence would be a perfect match for your talents and abilities, and would engage you and fulfill you while also providing you the considerable benefit of working from your own home office, taking back your commuting time, and adapting to your own work rhythm? Given the whole new work categories these seven trends have produced, there are many potential possibilities for your own productive and successful shift to the cyber workplace.

Lyfeloop