Face it; you’re hooked. It’s your uncontrollable urge to check for email notifications on your phone. It’s your compulsion to visit Facebook or Twitter for just a few minutes. However,you somehow find yourself still scrolling after an hour. If an habit is defined as repeated and automatic behavior, then technology has wired your brain so you behave exactly the way it wants you to.
In an online world of ever-increasing distractions, user habits matter. In fact, the economic value of web businesses increasingly depends on the strength of the habitual behavior of their users. These user habits ultimately will be a deciding factor in what separates startup winners and losers. Here are the reasons why startups must be behavior experts:
Turning User Habits into Cash
Ever since the creation of the first online media companies, businesses have made money from their users’ behavior. Early online media enterprises sold their users’ attention to advertisers in the form of ad impressions. However, they measured themselves on pages viewed, rather than the strength of their user habits. As millions of dial-up customers came online for the first time, these companies were lured into complacency as their user numbers grew.
Such self-assurance will leave you vulnerable to attack from social media companies, which plunder their user base as the web evolved. Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, are armed with an arsenal of behavioral engineering weaponry. Upon reaching critical mass, you will begin selling user behavior as well. Social media will prove so valuable and habit-forming. It will allow your businesses to come up with demographic layers onto their ad units, resulting in increased revenue and profitability.
Viral Is Nice, but User habits Are Required
Today,companies must build habit creation into their products and business models. Not only are users flooded by distractions, but acquiring users is also harder than ever before. Finding new users through paid advertising rarely provides a positive return on investment. And while viral mechanics are still employed, users are becoming very intolerant of applications spamming their contact lists for the purpose of inviting new users to join a service. Viral growth is also under attack as platforms like Facebook, Apple, and Android respond to customer complaints and quickly shut down such tactics.
For startups,mastering consumer behavior is the key element for their survival. With these pointers,the transition in this process will be very easy.