Description: In 1995, when Amazon was founded, e-commerce was like the proverbial talking dog. It wasn’t about how well the dog could talk, it was amazing that the dog could talk at all. The first generation of e-commerce sites were focused on functionality, getting the dog to talk better.
Date: Dec 3, 2010
Every year, Lightspeed Venture Partners goes on record with some prognostications for what the future holds. You can check out our 2010 predictions here (we figure we scored about a B on those). Here’s what we’re predicting for 2011:
1. Putting fun into e-commerce
In 1995, when Amazon was founded, e-commerce was like the proverbial talking dog. It wasn’t about how well the dog could talk, it was amazing that the dog could talk at all. The first generation of e-commerce sites were focused on functionality, getting the dog to talk better. We got everything from price comparison engines to aggregated user reviews to one-click checkout. These early innovations were focused on optimizing the “workflow” of shopping to get users into the checkout as quickly as possible.
This worked great for most internet users at that time because, back then, most internet users were men, and in general, men do not like to shop. They treat it like a chore, a necessary evil that would ideally be minimized and optimized to take the least amount of time possible.
But a few years ago, that changed. There are now (a few) more women online than men. And in general, women tend to enjoy shopping more than men. If you enjoy shopping, you don’t want your “workflow optimized”. You don’t want to be rushed to the checkout as quickly as possible. Instead, you want to linger, to be delighted, to discover new things, to find great deals. You want shopping to be fun.
Questions for discussion:
- Which of these trends will have the most impact in the education industry?
- Will mobile computing be larger than the computer industry in the personal and business setting?
- Are there any of these trends that you see as not really being a trend in the near future?