LONDON – TECH – From personal computers and smartphones to the internet and artificial intelligence, technology is changing the way businesses are run, defining new standards for success and shaping how consumers respond to businesses. So important is technology nowadays that infrastructure monitoring tools such as appoptics.com are fast becoming a must-have.
How consumers respond to businesses has been perhaps the most important change for since it is consumer preferences and demands that ultimately determine the direction companies go. The following is a look at the specific technologies that are changing consumer behavior the most.
1. Online Ad Networks
It started (or at least started in a major way) with Google’s transformation of the world of online advertising. This combined the delivery of a free service in the form of Google Search with the sale of keyword ads to advertisers. It was followed by Facebook which didn’t quite mirror the same model but has been a resounding success nevertheless.
Other major platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat have their own ad ecosystem. Given the number of visitors these sites receive each month, they greatly determine the everyday decisions consumers make on product purchases.
2. Virtual Reality
Until now, Virtual Reality (VR) has faced two major challenges. First, the absence of quality content. Second, a gap between the price of VR equipment and the value users will receive. This has made it unattractive for advertisers.
Fortunately, and like most electronics that eventually become mass market items, the price is dropping thus precipitating a chain reaction of more and higher quality content, and in turn more advertising. Some major brands such as Nike are already creating quality VR content to make the most of this emerging point of contact with consumers.
3. Social Media
When Facebook became the first social media platform to have more active users than the population of the world’s most populous country China, it was a milestone that made the world see social media differently.
Now exceeding 2 billion active users, Facebook is only the leader of a number of social networking and messaging apps such as Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and WhatsApp that are changing how customers think of, respond to and buy into brands.
Brands have had to review their approach in order to fit in this new and fast transforming context. Content must not only be of high quality but also resonate with the target market.
We all have at least one horror story of being forced to sit through a seemingly endless phone call with customer service will be transferred from person to person where you have to recount your issue all over again. Thanks to chatbots and other automated messaging tools, companies can better manage communication with customers.
Such tools also make it easier to accurately track inquiries from initial contact to eventual resolution. With millennials already used to social chat services and gradually becoming the most important consumer demographic, chatbots are only growing in relevance and popularity.
Technology has made it easier to deliver a more personalized experience to customers. For example, when customers sign into a banking application, they increasingly expect to be welcomed by name.
Product manufacturers such as car makers are also giving customers access to online portals where they can pre-order an item and submit a request for unique design specifications. Personalization creates a deeper attachment to a brand and gives consumers a greater sense of participation in outcomes.
Technology will only continue to evolve and with it, drive consumer habits. Businesses that can adjust to these trends will be best prepared to weather the changes.