Localisation challenges in usability and customer relationship management of e-commerce environments

Minocha, Shailey; Hall, Pat and Dawson, Liisa (2004). Localisation challenges in usability and customer relationship management of e-commerce environments. In: Sharing Capability in Localisation and Human Language Technologies 2004, 7-8 Jan 2004, Kathmandu, Nepal.

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With growing competition in the global E-Market place, the focus of E-Businesses is moving from customer acquisition to customer retention. Towards this, E-Businesses, in addition to providing a usable site, are integrating Customer-relationship Management (CRM) strategies into the design and usability of E-Commerce environments. These CRM strategies include personalisation, providing consistent customer service across different communication channels of the E-Business, meeting customers' expectations with regards to product information, giving cues for trustworthiness (e.g. security seals, data protection assurances), etc. However, CRM strategies employed in American and West European market places are aimed at an individual's (customer–s) self-interest and self-gratification and these might not be applicable in other cultures, for example, in Asia where, loyalty to family and clan, filial piety, delayed gratification, and connections and networks of trust and obligations via relatives and extended family, are valued.

Through several examples, this position paper highlights the challenges that E-Businesses face in the global marketplace of localising not only the user interface design issues of the E-Commerce Web site such as colours, language, currency formats, etc., or the cultural attractors such as religious iconography, beliefs, national symbols, and so on, but also the CRM strategies of the E-Commerce environment.

The issues, therefore, for discussion in the workshop arising from this paper are as follows:

– Significance of integrating both HCI / Usability and CRM strategies into the design and usability of E-Commerce environments for customer retention and loyalty;
– Localisation of CRM strategies in E-Commerce environments;
– Are the usability and CRM strategies genre-specific, that is, specific to a particular domain of E-Commerce, such as banking, shopping, travel, and so on;
– Which elicitation and usability evaluation techniques can be applied by designers and usability professionals in order to elicit values, attitudes, and expectations towards CRM of local customers?
– Are patterns of on-line purchasing becoming standardised (as more and more Web retailers follow Amazon's retail processing business model)? Are people learning to lead two different lives: responding to such standardised E-Commerce environments as well as to localised interfaces that meet their local preferences and requirements?

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