A few new platforms are emerging, and they all have something in common: widgets. What does this mean for business as we know it, and how do widgets help customer reach grow?
The latest platforms to use widgets include Facebook and the iPhone. Both offer various amounts of third-party integration. Facebook offers a complete API (define) for developers to create add-on applications. So does Yahoo.The iPhone lets third-party developers create Web 2.0 application that run inside Apple's Safari browser. It's only a matter of time before actual third-party applications (or new Apple applications) emerge. It seems an obvious next step that the iTunes interface becomes a marketplace for add-on features for the iPhone. Apple calls these modules "widgets," Facebook calls them "applications." In this column, I'll use the terms interchangeably.
The following pointers will help your business succeed in a widget-centric landscape:
Widgets have existed on the Mac platform for some time. As companies like Yahoo and Facebook open their architectures for similar (and more deeply integrated) applications, the landscape of commerce will change. Decentralized commerce means pushing the point of sale to whatever hosting environment can accept it. Platforms like Facebook and eventually the iPhone enable this vision to extend beyond the desktop into the social networking realm and onto alternative platforms.
Thoughts, questions, comments? Let me know.
Until next time...
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Jack Aaronson, CEO of The Aaronson Group and corporate lecturer, is a sought-after expert on enhanced user experiences, customer conversion, retention, and loyalty. If only a small percentage of people who arrive at your home page transact with your company (and even fewer return to transact again), Jack and his company can help. He also publishes a newsletter about multichannel marketing, personalization, user experience, and other related issues. He has keynoted most major marketing conferences around the world and regularly speaks at Shop.org and other major industry shows. You can learn more about Jack through his LinkedIn profile.
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