Emotion: The Misunderstood 'Fifth Wheel' Of eBusiness Innovation

As part of my "The eBusiness Innovation eBusiness Imperative" report I identified the five megatrends transforming eBusiness: mobile, local, personal, social, and emotional. 

The five overlapping megatrends that are changing eBusiness

"What's that?" I hear you say. "What's emotional?" Well, don't worry — that was the megatrend that stumped most people. But it shouldn't, because everywhere we look, eBusiness professionals are striving to creating more emotionally engaging transactional experiences.

Consider online retail, which is still the most visible form of eBusiness. Creating an eBusiness experience that's less of a chore than traditional shopping is easy. But creating an experience that inspires some of the positive emotions associated with traditional shopping at its best — security, status, even fun — is much, much harder. However, it can be done. For example, the idea to write this blog post came from Mag Nation's "magdentifier," which asks some fun questions before showing you a range of magazines tailored to your interests. For me, playing with the magdentifier was fun. For the first time, it made me consider giving a magazine subscription as a gift.

Magdentifier asks fun questions to help identify suitable mags for its users

With finance-sector eBusiness, it's a similar story. We've published research about the need to provide richer financial advice tools for online banking and insurance customers, in part to inspire the emotions that underly sales conversion in this sector — such as the feeling of confidence.

Of course, creating emotional online experiences isn't easy. My colleagues who create research for customer experience professionals have published an entire series of reports on just this topic. But for eBusiness professionals, the good news is this: the greatest period of innovation in eBusiness isn't behind you, it's yet to come. In the years ahead, eBusiness will grow beyond its current focus on winning customers by simply avoiding the pitfalls of traditional commerce. Increasingly, eBusiness professionals will focus on matching and exceeding the positive emotions that that traditional commerce can inspire.


I tried out the magdentifier.

I tried out the magdentifier. It is a cool tool and funny with the witty choices, but did not exactly choose the magazines that fit me. It was not enough options to just base the magazines to a person. I see my self in jeans and a t-shirt and sometimes a suit, not always just one or other. Video games and sex would be a great weekend for me not just one or the other. I understand it is trying to find the emotional tie or benefit to the customer but it did not do a good job of that at all. I understand what it is trying to do, but it needs a few kinks worked out.

Agreed, it's definitely not

Agreed, it's definitely not perfect -- just a recent example of an eBusiness organisation having fun.