Technology is fundamentally transforming the way humans live their everyday lives. This includes how people interact with the brands with which they do business, as well as how those brands cater to the needs and desires of their customers. Specifically, there have been a number of different advances in technology that are slowly but surely changing the way consumers behave, one transaction at a time. Let’s take a look at a few of these innovations and the impact each is having on the world around us.
Smart devices are personalizing user experience and delivering peace of mind.
With the IoT trudging forward and gaining greater traction, more and more consumers are opting for intuitive devices that keep them connected and anticipate their needs. So far, the two strongest motivators behind this movement continue to be safety and energy efficiency. One study conducted by Scripps Networks Interactive indicated that 75 percent of consumers buy smart devices to keep their family comfortable and safe.
Interestingly, the study also found that different generations of consumers are driven by different end-goals. For instance, Millennials want smart home technology because it makes their lives more convenient while Gen Xers are looking to create a healthier environment. Meanwhile, Baby Boomers view smart tech as a way to increase the value of their homes. Regardless of individual reasoning, these devices are here to stay.
Wearable gadgets are benefiting consumers and brands.
Most of us have already adopted some type of wearable technology, such as fitness trackers to monitor things like health, activity level and diet. Despite a relatively slow start, wearable devices have proven to be highly beneficial to consumers using them, particularly those looking to adopt a healthier lifestyle, eat better and reduce stress. In fact, experts predict that the wearable market will grow to $25 billion as soon as 2019.
From a business standpoint, wearables present a host of benefits, even beyond those brands producing and marketing the technology. For instance, many large corporations have experienced great success in leveraging fitness trackers as part of overall wellness campaigns to get employees healthier and therefore reduce the expenses associated with insurance premiums. Others are using wearable tech to track and improve productivity and performance.
Digital shopping is facilitating a more seamless customer buying journey.
Online shopping is nothing new, but the ecommerce industry has experienced increased demand by consumers for a much smoother, easier and more seamless buying experience. Shoppers have come to expect things like free and one-day shipping, easy order tracking and free returns or exchanges. In a space where brands were once pressured to increase the number of customers who shopped online, the focus has now shifted toward the priority of improving that online shopping experience.
Thankfully, technological advancements in areas like transportation, logistics and order management are enabling companies to adopt and implement these advanced fulfillment options and meet the demands of their customers. Examining and understanding every step of the buying journey and taking appropriate measures to remove friction will be the key to competitive advantage moving forward.
Artificial intelligence is becoming much more widely accepted.
Today’s consumers are beginning to see the value in technology like automation and artificial intelligence. As such, there is more widespread acceptance, which is great news for businesses. For example, the use of chatbots as a tool to provide instant, automated customer support can benefit the consumer by providing access to answers and resolution to their issues faster, without the need to pick up the phone or wait for a human response.
Meanwhile, the company using the technology can realize significant cost savings, improved customer satisfaction and a host of other advantages. Another area where AI is making an impact is through the use of drones to optimize and save money on things like product delivery. Of course, the jury is still out on whether or not the use of unmanned aerial vehicles will be embraced or shunned by most consumers.
As you can see, technology has become a driving force behind what consumers expect, how they behave and ultimately which brands they will choose to do business with. Only those companies that stay on top of the latest tech trends and continue to put consumer needs first will emerge victorious in the end.