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Think big, start small – avoiding common mistakes when starting online business

Hi everyone! This is Arun at Web Analytics Consultants Association.

Today I want to share with you the importance of understanding human behavior as a starting point for a website or mobile app.

 

Think big, start small

user behavior

A common mistake when people start an online business is to start big and make things overly complicated. It is better to start small.  Let me step back and try to clarify this idea based on my observations and readings.

One possible starting point is to look at human behavior. Can we influence human behavior using technology, in this case the technology more specifically being a website or mobile app?  Start with trying to target a simple behavior of users of your website/mobile app. Do you want users to sign up for a newsletter? Do you need users to fill out a form with their name and email information?  There are three reasons a target behavior does not occur:

  1. 1. Lack of motivation
  2. 2. Lack of ability
  3. 3. Lack of a well-timed trigger to perform the behavior

Lack of motivation

What characteristics of motivation can be changed to increase or decrease motivation? They are sensation (pain, pleasure), Anticipation (Hope, Fear) and Belonging. (Social Acceptance, Social rejection). Most entrepreneurs focus on lack of motivation when users don’t perform the behavior they are expected to perform.

Lack of ability

Perhaps it is more relevant to focus on lack of ability and lack of a trigger. How can ability be influenced? Learning new skills increases ability to perform the behavior.  But this takes time. The easier route would to make the behavior easier to do.

Lack of a trigger

A trigger could be as simple as a text message on a mobile phone as a reminder. Or a tactic such as limited time offers: offering a discount that is valid for the next two days for example.

Finding the right channel

Channels vary from websites to video games. The selection of a channel must match the target behavior and audience.  Channels that increase motivation: online video, social networks, video games. Channels that make a behavior simpler are installed software and specialized devices. Making a behavior simpler often leads to increased ability.  For behavior change you need to use an existing channel.

A fast and nimble approach is needed to implement the targeting of a simple behavior. Implement, get feedback from users of the product and iterate based on the feedback.Build on small successes. Start with simplicity and build on it. When a simple service succeeds the doors for expansion opens.

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