How Is Technology Revolutionising Consumer Shopping Habits?
Technology is consistently changing the world in which we live in many ways. One of the biggest impacts technology has had in recent years is in the way we shop for various products. Of course, due to the trivial nature of shopping when compared to medical research or technology, for example, the changes to the way consumers behave are left fighting for column inches.
We looked at the products and initiatives involving technology that have changed the way we shop.
In terms of wider impacts on businesses and consumers, cloud technology – or more specifically the use of it within businesses – has perhaps the biggest impact without consumers realising.
Many businesses are now using alternatives to traditional point of sale platforms, and cloud based software is leading the way in this respect. As we noted earlier, it is unlikely that the customer will feel any real direct impact on their behaviour. However, cloud technology allows businesses to spend a lot more time and money redirecting resources elsewhere to focus on the customer experience.
Having the ability to keep customer details securely online also allows businesses to go much further in terms of marketing their brand and their products to consumers. Marketing e-mails or savings coupons can be sent to the customer specifically tailored around their shopping habits and bring them back into stores time and again.
There are many technology experts around the world who believe it is only a matter of time before mobile technology, be that phones or tablets, replace laptops completely and are the only product used by consumers for various things.
With this in mind, businesses have long been aware of the need to keep in touch with their customers once they have left the store having made a purchase. Why else has the popularity of mobile applications exploded in recent years?
Another method of interacting with consumers is in the use of QR stamps in stores or in the media as a tool for driving footfall.
In stores, QR stamps now appear on many shopping receipts, as well as on signage around the store allowing you to look up the history of a product, download a coupon to take to the till, and even price check the product against competitors. Some stores even have QR codes on their staff uniform to encourage consumers to interact with their brand on a deeper level.
As for the media, it is almost impossible to open a newspaper or a magazine today without seeing a QR stamp for some purpose or other. It may be simply a link to download an app for a brand, or an invitation to an exclusive in-store event, but it still helps the businesses using these initiatives to gain a stronger foothold in what is an ever competitive marketplace.
Even the way consumers pay for things is changing as technology evolves. One popular initiative at the moment is debit or credit cards containing a “chip,” so that rather than having to insert a card into a reader and enter a pin number, you can simply place the chip within the magnetic field of the reader and pay this way.
While this payment method has proven popular, perhaps the on-going implementation of payment systems into smart phones will take it even further. Pioneered by Apple in their iPhone model, the technology allows you to simply log into your bank on your phone and pay there and then using a similar method to the chipped cards.
This will make shopping a quicker, more simple experience, and is yet another reminder of how mobile technology seems set to have an even bigger part to play in how we live our lives going forward.