Gone were the days when businesses used to connect with the customers using traditional ways of communications like email and phone calls for customer service. But time has changed now with the advancement of technology.
In the digital era, the power is now in the hands of customers which earlier favored a company. Businesses used to provide information only at their discretion. Thanks to the web and mobile app development (internet-enabled smartphones and tablets), the customers now have overall control over the information. They can use this brilliant collaboration of mobile web and digital technology to perform research, browse and purchase a product or service of a company.
All in all, mobile technology has completely shifted the retail landscape to a whole new dimension. Retailers now are opting for the strategies capable of answering customer needs and fulfilling their expectations. And proactive brands are offering innovations to improve customer shopping experience so that they can turn them into loyal customers or true brand advocates. This has raised customers’ expectations to the next level and the dynamics of retails shopping have completely been changed. Therefore, investing in digital technology has now become a priority for many retail brands. It helps them succeed and have fierce face-offs with competition in the segment.
In this article, our major focus will be on knowing about how and why has technology changed consumer buying behavior? And How can businesses keep up with the customers’ expectations by reconsidering their strategies?
This is the time when almost every single human being is living two lives, vibrant online life and another so-so or boring offline one. But anyhow we tend to connect with the network of our friends. On the online front, we share one or more platforms and often use more than one device that keeps us updated about everyone and everything. It clearly showcases our dependency on being active and informed online and according to a study conducted by Exact Target Marketing, it is confirmed that 91% of the customers want content access across all the devices.
Information technology that has improved to the next level has boosted connectivity and brought the world together as one big community, from smartphones to smart-big data. And the trend is not going to change anytime soon because the kids nowadays age around 5 years know exactly how to operate a smartphone, even Linkedin has lowered the age limit to 13 years to capitalize on the technology adoption rate.
In such scenarios, if the companies want to connect with the consumers and satisfy their sophisticated needs. Meeting them on the same platform where the target audience is spending most of their time is the right way to approach a new generation of informed customers. Whether they are on Instagram or Twitter or any other social media platform. It will definitely leverage your business. On-demand app developers demand increased even after the covid-19 crisis, it shows how much consumers using online platforms.
With time technology has changed so does the customers’ buying behavior. The introduction of e-commerce and mobile phones has almost ended the customers’ need of waiting for set times to open your business. For purchase of any product or service. With internet-enabled smartphones and tablets, they have power in their hand to access any product or service at any time. That is why their expectations have also been raised and they demand instant response in terms of customer service. If you are offering such facilities then you can keep up with the changed customers’ buying behavior else you are highly prone to leaving the business league.
To simply understand the concept we are using an example here. Let’s assume a customer wants to purchase something online at night and has a query. For which he looks for instant answers from customer service. If he gets a satisfactory answer, obviously he will move to the next step and complete his transaction. If not, he will look for another vendor from the bunch of suppliers available online and capable of meeting his requirements instantly.
In this new era, consumers are pretty much aware of their powers. They are free to express their dissatisfaction with your social media handle if not served diligently. And you know how it could affect your reputation among other customers who are OK with your products and service. So it’s good to have a keen look at the customers’ feedback and response immediately.
Earlier, businesses used to provide customer service through emails and phone calls. However, the email mode of communication was not that effective due to late responses. Other than this, there are several challenges consumers used to ace while dealing with these two modes of communication. Also, these methods are much in favor of the company and the consumers become able to get the information only based on the company’s discretion.
In this digital era, the situation is complete upside down. Thanks to mobile webs and technological advancements, consumers are highly aware. And the options like social media platforms and live chat put your business in front of your customers. If you think, you can save your brand reputation by sacrificing a single customer. You are wrong. Any expression of dissatisfaction can hamper your brand position completely since the information is accessible to millions of people.
In contrast, there are positives of these new tools as well. That can support your business growth. You can utilize a wider data collection pool (big data) to perform fast track research and development. And avail your customers with exciting offers that they can’t resist.
With maximized use of smartphones and the internet for even performing everyday activities, users tend to spend lots of time online. They browse websites or mobile apps of the brands for the information and purchase of products or services they need. Therefore it’s essential to have an online presence of your business through mobile-friendly websites and apps. Since everything is accessible nowadays.
If your business is not being accessible through their smartphones, it imposes a wrong impression on customers of not being an authentic and excellent product or service provider.
Even people use their smartphones for browsing about the product details and reviews while looking for products of their requirements in Walmart or Target. And then perform the purchase of the product that better suits their needs and budget.
So online availability of your business is not only beneficial for the customers but also for the companies. Both can be informed about each other through online connectivity. Even it’s quite simple to make your online presence. Just develop an amazing website and mobile app for your business.
Furthermore, one of the major facts that helped in enhancing online buying activities is the increased security for mobile payments. People now are way more comfortable in window shopping and make payments through their smartphones.
Within the last few years, exceptional growth is witnessed in online buying trends. As a result of this, a large number of retailers are willing to invest a huge sum in digital techniques so that they can meet their customers’ expectations.
Retail branded store credit cards are part of the company’s digital strategies to serve a large number of the audience holding these brand’s credit cards. Businesses that offer successful retail branded store card programs keep their focus on the cardholder experience. That it should be fully mobile-enabled and utilize next-generation tools and apps for maintaining user engagement. Some of these tools include:
Retail card incorporation to a retail brand ensures a seamless buying experience for its customers.
Considering ongoing technological advancements, IoT is the future of technology. And the cloud will be a junction to connect everything from Alexa to multiple wearable devices and others to form an IoT phenomenon.
Not even this, cloud computing is currently availing companies with customer behavior monitoring aids like never before. and in the coming future, it is likely to be enhanced to the next level with IoT integration to offer more personalized services to customers.
There is no doubt that with everything surfboarding the cloud, it became easier to develop new product ideas and define their customer base.
Also, the adoption of cloud computing from different industry verticals has been increased drastically within the last few years. Due to sharing, storing, and outsourcing ease at a single platform.
Companies now can take full advantage of the cloud to access and analyze full-scale data for a better understanding of customer buying behavior and to improve algorithms for a better serving of their customers.
It is one of the emerging technologies that will definitely be a part of future trends. Already, we have started noticing the integration of Augmented and Mixed Reality in the application of many brands.
A few popular names among them are
IKEA is a furniture retailer. To end up the problem of deciding how a Sofa or a Shelf Unit will look in your room. IKEA comes up with the idea of the AR app to help e-commerce customers visualize the most precise situation of an item in a particular area.
Timberland gained popularity when it came up with a virtual fitting room developed by Lemon&Orange in the year 2014. The virtual room allows customers to check themselves out with different outfits.
Besides these, there are several other brands that are taking advantage of Augmented Reality techniques to serve customers with a better understanding of their products and fun AR experiences.
These brands are
It has already been proved that these technologies work in a positive way to affect customers’ buying behavior. According to a study in International Marketing not only the use of AR favorably changed the user’s purchase intention but also provides them with sorts of positive outcomes, knowledge about augmented products that boost up customer’s positivity towards the brand and influence higher rate of purchasing.
No doubt technology is ever-evolving and within the last few years, it has witnessed drastic changes. A clear impact of this gets to see on customers’ buying experience. In this blog, we have almost covered all the major questions like why (which involves connected customers, their expectations changed and new communication channels) and how (comprising mobile devices and secure payments, retail branded store credit cards, AR, Integration of IoT, Big data and cloud) technology and mobile webs are influencing users’ purchase intentions.
This information technology era is truly justifying the statement “Customer is King” which businesses have never experienced before. So to allure customers and increase user engagement, businesses don’t forget to consider the mentioned facts before creating strategies to keep up with the customers’ expectations.
My name is Hemendra Singh. I am a Director and Co-founder of The NineHertz, IT Consulting Company. I am having a keen interest in the latest trends and technologies that are emerging in different domains. Being an entrepreneur in the field of the IT sector, it becomes my responsibility to aid my audience with the knowledge of the latest trends in the market.
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