Navigation is a fundamental part of human behavior. This ongoing, seemingly involuntary consideration of where we are and where we are going, fills so many parts of our days. Whether it’s walking from the kitchen to the living room, or driving to and from work, moving from point A to point B rarely requires much effort when you know your way around.
What happens, though, when you don’t know your way around? What happens when all navigational devices within reach, fail to successfully guide you to the place you have never been? What happens when you are completely and totally lost? If you are anything like me, you will most likely break out in a cold sweat. Immediately. Thank goodness for deodorant and directions, and for those of us not opposed to either.
Commence hypothetical scenario: You are in a new city and you are incredibly lost. You are so desperate for help that you have chosen to converse with complete strangers about the place you are looking for — grocery store that also sells general home goods. Let’s say that upon asking for directions, you discover that no one has heard of the place that you are trying to find. This may deter you briefly, but since you are already sweaty, you press your luck and quickly resort to characteristics people might use to describe your destination.
Unfortunately, the characteristics you have chosen describe a number of places in the area. You try to get more specific — specializes in organic foods and in-house baked goods — but your refined use of adjectives only further confuses the locals trying to help you. It is a big city after all with lots of places like the one you are after. In another act of pure desperation, you resort to single words and hand gestures in a final attempt to find what you are looking for. The locals chuckle and wish you luck in your endeavor.
Just as you are about to give up, another stranger who’s been watching from the sidelines, cautiously approaches you and asks if you are looking for THE EXACT PLACE YOU HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR! While you scream “YES!” repeatedly, the stranger shares her own difficult journey to enlightenment. She sympathetically explains why your destination of choice is so hard to discover, especially if you are not from these parts. Your favorite stranger then fully restores your faith in all humanity by kindly offering to walk you two blocks down to the building you have been looking for all this time.
The scenario above, while “fictional,” is not unlike the journey many online shoppers face when looking for products online. We start on a site with a product in mind, but we get lost trying to find it. We then go in circles trying to figure out how to best ask for directions in a way that is understood by the locals. We know the product is there. We simply need a kind stranger to help us along the way.
Edgecase’s mission is to be that kind stranger. We want to empower shoppers to discover products in a way that is familiar to them, using their own unique terms and language. Our secret weapons to making this possible are our Curation Strategists and Content Curators who work to unite our clients and their customers through common language. We help the locals understand what the lost visitor is actually looking for, and we give the lost visitor access to human powered navigation that actually gets them to their destination. Happy endings for everyone.
Want more details on how the magic happens? I’ll tell you all about it in my next blog post. In the meantime, feel free to give us a call or schedule a demo.