There are so many new technologies that are finally getting on-board. After years of foretelling and testing, many are now a prevalent part of multiple services. There still are so many new tech surfacing and probably would take another 10-15 years to get mainstream. Almost every technology has changed the course of certain dimensions of a provider-consumer relationship.
There is no doubt that technology has changed the approach of companies on how to conduct business. It’s hard to believe that in the past ten years the significance of so many things has changed almost too quickly.
Here is a quick brief on how the technology is exerting its influence on consumer behavior.
1. Social Media
The meaning of social networking websites and what they serve has changed dynamically. It has come a long way from being a place for just socializing and entertainment to being a severe marketing and selling platform.
Businesses, from MSMEs to larger companies, need to keep an eagle eye on these platforms and use these to form a better bridge between their services and customer. The Q&As will provide you with the details like what do consumers want, what are they looking for, you and your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses.
We have come a long way to discussing how social media and search influence the customer’s decision journey. From Facebook to Twitter to Youtube to Amazon; the users look almost everywhere possible for an authentic buyer reaction before buying. Also, Youtube videos that provide customers with better feedbacks and reviews with different products and comparisons between different products.
Every business needs some serious social engagement strategies, and we aren’t just talking about advertisements.
2. Online Opinions: From negative feedback to brand loyalty
Discussion forums like Quora, WikiAnswers, StackExchange, Facebook Questions, Reddit, Twitter, Instagram and even LinkedIn Answers (oriented around professionals) are helpful in gauging your audience’s views.
You need to be quick on working with all kinds of feedback to your product or services. Just ‘replying’ to the query is not enough. A negative response needs to be addressed and elucidated immediately. Just making a feedback forum and watching over your user base won’t solve anything.
With everyone now connected, it is easy to be cornered on that one weak point of your business. Note, one user’s experience may crumble up your loyal customer base. Return with a proper solution; apologize not with just words but also compensate for their negative experience. Reaching out to your customer with solutions is a perfect way to win loyalty. Remember to ‘act’ on feedbacks because if you don’t, they sure will. These online responses possess the power to change the consumer’s buying behavior to a considerable extent.
What do you do when you want food or where do you go for transportation?
3. Mobile devices and payments
It’s essential to create your online presence on mobile-friendly websites and even app stores. Everything is accessible. And not only just that, not being available through their phones gives a wrong impression of not being authentic or an excellent service or product provider. A person in Walmart or Target with a mobile in their hand are readily browsing around the product’s details and reviews, and buy the product that fits their need. Being online is now way more simple and helps in keeping consumers and companies, both informed about each other, and it isn’t a brand new thing.
Moreover, increased mobile payments security has heightened online buying activities. People are now more comfortable to go window shopping on their smartphones. The online buying trend has climbed drastically in the past few years itself. Consequently, according to Gartner, retailers are investing heavily in digital techniques to meet their customer’s expectations.
The data and information gained on the consumers are invaluable.
4. Integration of IoT, Big Data and Cloud Technology
IoT is not something you could ignore now. From Alexa to multiple wearable devices to everything through the cloud, things are getting connected, this, in turn, gives you the IoT phenomenon. Cloud allows companies to monitor consumer behavior like never before.
With only more progress to come its way, the big data and IoT will be able to produce more personalized services to customers. New product ideas and defining the user base is only getting more explicit with everything surfboarding the cloud. Sharing, storing and outsourcing has become easier drastically in the past few years account. Data on the cloud allows companies with access to full-scale data to analyze the buying behavior and improving algorithms to assist them in serving their customers better.
5. Augmented Reality
Now, many brands have taken a few more steps forward into Augmented and Mixed Reality. Top examples being:
To solve the problem of how a sofa or a Shelf Unit is going to look in your room, the furniture retailer IKEA brought in an AR app to help visualize e-commerce consumers to how an item might look in their area.
In 2014, Timberland provided a virtual fitting room created by Lemon&Orange. Timberland virtual room allows shoppers to view themselves in different outfits without any hassle.
Pepsi has also used AR techniques to advertise their product something like this in a bus shelter:
Many other brands like the following have also been providing their customers with the Augmented Reality techniques as an easygoing way to understand their products and with fun AR experiences:
- Patron Tequila
These technologies have proved to influence the user’s purchase intention positively. A study in International Marketing has shown how exactly the use of AR has favorably changed the customer’s shopping behavior. Moreover, they achieved positive outcomes; augmented product knowledge with a positive attitude towards the brand and thus leading to higher purchasing intentions.
Also, Read Below: Other tech advances that are affecting Consumer behavior