The phone. The computer. The Internet. The introduction of these major technological developments has substantially changed business behavior. As technology continues to improve and consumers become savvier, we will no doubt see even more changes in the way media is consumed and business is conducted.
The fast-changing technology landscape has created a culture in which the consumer is never far from a device with which they can obtain and share data. Armed with the latest and greatest tools, businesses must consider the following traits of potential and existing customers:
Connected Culture With the help of mobile devices and readily available WiFi connections, consumers are always on and connected around the globe. People are making purchases from their phones and tablets, checking email on planes and trains and holding calls in their cars. Content is accessed faster and more frequently than ever before, so businesses must be readily available to cater to this multi-screen, 24/7 marketplace.
Sharing The growing number of social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and Pinterest provides consumers with the vehicles to become the ultimate content producers. Sharing abounds with check-ins on Foursquare, picture uploads to Instagram and news, status updates and recommendations tweeted and posted online in real time. Since experiences can be shared across so many social media networks in an instant, businesses need to be thoughtful about the content they are generating as well as their customer service. In a snap, information can be shared globally and a poor user experience can turn into a PR nightmare.
Comparison Seeking Due to the high level of sharing online and companies offering e-commerce options, it is increasingly easy for consumers to obtain product information. Most product purchases are not completed without consulting online reviews, demos, ratings and price comparisons to ensure they are buying the best product for the money. Even consumers intending to make in-store purchases will search online for printable coupons or special discounts. Businesses need to be well-versed about their industry and how their competitors compare because their consumers certainly are.
Diverted Attention As the number of devices and media channels increase, consumers will be drawn in many directions in order to digest the copious amounts of information available. For this reason, businesses must capture consumers quickly by offering websites that succinctly provide information but also leave a lasting impression. Otherwise, there is another outlet around the corner for them to focus their attention on.
Online Communicators Since online communication has become second nature, many people prefer to be contacted and to connect with others via text, email, online chat or social media channels than by phone. Provide your customers with contact choices that include phone, email online chat or Knowledge Base options, so that they can select the best method of contact for their needs.
These are just a few of the ways technology has shaped consumer behavior, and as the digital environment expands and devices become smarter and easier to use, there will be an even greater correlation between technology and consumer conduct. Therefore, it’s key for companies to understand how consumers interact online in order to enhance customer relationships and drive sales.