Don’t be afraid of technological advancements. Take advantage of them to move towards a demand-driven and customer-centric business.
Before technology, life was simple. Nothing special than the ordinary. However, we must admit that the simple livelihood was way slower in terms of progress compared to the present situation. Upon technology’s natality years back, everything went out of the ordinary. Its leverage greatly influenced the way people perceive things, bestowal in the world, obtaining information, modifications of age-old equipment, and many more.
The total advancement in the field of technology opened several doors of productivity which contributed to the entire community and even resolved several crises. From electronic communication using the platform of emails and other messaging applications to online platforms which opened doors for online interaction and video conferences, technology indeed changed the course of every human’s lifestyle.
More so, with the birth of technology and its online platforms, information is more accessible. Even online strategies in marketing and selling, utilized the benefit of technology as it helps them attract buyers and investors easier than ever before.
In the past, it was not widely accepted as some questioned technology’s credibility - such as possible scam situations. But now, even younger generations utilize technology expertly. This dawning realization allowed many marketers to resort to technology and social media platforms to gain audience attention. Thus, understanding the importance of keeping up with the modern empowered consumer.
From Passive to Empowered Consumers
The evolution of technology changed the course of action of our age-old beliefs and actions. We started from grabbing pen and paper and forwarding to the mailman and waited for a long delivery time, to now utilize a messenger application that can both send online and video messages to someone across the globe.
Its rapid evolution opened bigger inventions on mobile phones, the internet, computers, laptops, and other technological devices which served a great amount of service to the entire economy. As mentioned, access to different information on particular topics is now accessible and just a click away.
Do you want to know if it is worth buying an iPhone X for the year 2021? Simple. One search from Google and you are served with various articles on reviews and recommendations about the specs of the phone itself and personal insights about the phone. It is easier for the different markets to interact with their customers through the different social media platforms without necessarily having to spend for a bus fare just to go and see in person an explanation regarding the desired product.
If there is one thing which greatly benefited the people upon the evolution of technology, that would be communication. Through these online platforms, customers can automatically act as digital producers by simply providing a detailed review of a certain product they purchased or the kind of service they received from the seller upon purchasing the product - based on the experience of course. And because of these product reviews and recommendations, customers help in the marketing process, including the improvements of the said products.
Several perspectives can already be detected without entirely physically reaching out to the person or the company involved. Before, consumers are passive in the sense that they react to traditional media. Marketers reach out to them, often in person. But now, the odds are different. Technology empowers people to make better, more informed choices so they can choose the best products and services that suit their needs.
Changes in Consumer's Journey Through Advance Tech
As mentioned earlier, people’s needs in the past were simpler than the recent needs. Given the simple needs, people weren’t too meticulous and picky in terms of purchasing a product. As long as it works or is edible and healthy, then buy it.
But this time around, with millions of products coming into existence, the needs of humans started to evolve. Thus, being picky over a product has ever since been the norm. With that, marketers have been cautious with their products notwithstanding the needs of the people, including their marketing approach.
With the help of technology, marketers’ marketing approach became more feasible and people became more aware of the kind of products they are purchasing as comparing it to another company’s similar product is just a click away. The stress in being torn between two similar products, meticulously checking which one is better is already resolved, thanks to the technology. Plus, the customers no longer have to waste their time listening to a sales lady’s novel about the different products.
You can offer your value proposition in a more customer-centric system.
Technology’s popularity in the marketing scene became an edge to every company. It would seem like through technology as part of your marketing strategy, you are on a pedestal that would gain several customers a lot easier than those who do not.
Moreover, humans enjoy convenience. Hence, the more convenience a company can provide for them, the more interested humans would get. Thus, companies would exert effort in incorporating technology with their marketing strategies to attract more customers. From mobile payments to online shopping, companies with these kinds of offers attract more customers than others.
Customers Switching From One Company To Another
As mentioned earlier, with millions of products coming into existence and their respective companies, everyone is provided with so many options. Hence, it is inevitable for a once-loyal customer to try and purchase from another company. It has been like an instinct to try other products and compare whether it is worth its price or not.
Common reasons would be the pricing of their products, empathetic retailers, quality, and aesthetics. In a shorter sense, something that is more convenient, pleasing in the eyes, ethical, and budget-friendly.
Priority on Safety and Convenience
Talk about convenience, as mentioned earlier, consumers enjoy purchasing products that are not only cheaper but safer and convenient. This is why companies exert more effort in coming up with new tactics and strategies to attract customers.
Prioritizing safety is highly significant especially in terms of hygiene. According to research by McKinsey, about 50 percent of consumers would like companies to follow protocols and guidelines imposed by the government to ensure the safety of the customers coming in and out of the store.
Frictionless experience is paramount. From providing contactless payments, sanitizers, and alcohol bottles available in almost every corner and space in the store, to wearing face masks. All of these are highly encouraged to every store to have as people are concerned with their health and safety - a normal and principal priority.
In the context of delivery, the faster a company delivers a customer’s item, the more consumers appreciate it. Transparent and clear product descriptions are also one of the main inclusions that companies should think of to attract customers. Customers need to know exactly what the product does to them. Especially in online shopping because consumers cannot feel nor test products entirely.
The Buying Journey Goes Digital
Even before the pandemic shook the world, digital shopping has already been utilized by consumers. And we can all say that these strategies are effective. Given that consumers love convenience, online shopping is convenient. Without literally going out of your house, consumers can simply scroll through the website and check items they want to purchase. With this kind of strategy, it is hassle-free. Moreover, there are even companies that offer discounts for first-time buyers on their websites. The buying journey has entirely evolved and it has been convenient ever since.
In particular, customers have several digital touchpoints such as search engines, social media, mobile wallets, and email.
Changes in Business Activity Through Technology
The invention of technology greatly influenced the business community. It has helped different companies start from scratch yet flourishing still and fairly competing with others. Communication between the seller and supplier has become easier, even with all its business partners.
As everything is being transferred online, business activity has changed throughout the years through technology. Keeping records of in and out products became easier. Entertaining inquiries from the consumers are way easier than before as customer service can already be done through email, website, or messaging apps.
Hence, even small businesses can keep up with larger organizations by harnessing the power of technology. This is why online sellers have been popping up lately due to technology that is easy to use. Besides, with technology as your platform for your business, it is way cheaper than having a physical store.
Technology also enables you to cater to your customers better. The internet and other tech innovations change customers to empower them to make informed choices everywhere. Businesses can personalize consumer experiences through demand-driven and data-derived operations.
Mobile, Cloud-based Operations
People, particularly millennials and Gen Z, are engrossed with their mobile phones. Thus, the business community took it as an opportunity to continuously operate even online. Through cloud-based operations, small and big businesses can now operate through a third-party server that is accessible via internet connectivity. Business companies no longer have to worry about writing everything down with a fear of loss of data.
To illustrate, using the context of Google Drive as an example of a server, companies can upload their sales, expenses, etc. in the drive, which can be accessed via internet connectivity. The data will not be lost unless it is deleted manually. An online record book that companies use where they can store their data without fear of loss of data or crashing of the system.
Fine Tuned Customer Segmentation and Expansion
Technology did not only improve communication amongst the consumers and the company, but it also secured databases. For instance, a person scrolling through your website can be detected on what kind of phone model they are using for skimming through your website, how long they stayed, etc.
Through this, segmenting its consumers by demographic and buying behavior, a company can easily determine the marketing strategy they should use. Base on different customer types, including prospects. Thanks to technology, there is no need for a company to manually monitor on a piece of paper their customers and it is easier for them to track potential customers.
You can even expand your customer base through digitalization. Reach different economic markets through company sites and digital advertising.
Feedback goes social
Regardless of your geographical location, through technology, anyone can access feedback on various products. You no longer have to run the street and go straight to the store and complain about an inconvenience of some sort.
Through a store’s online customer service or even a simple rant on Facebook and Twitter, it can already reach the company and make up for the inconvenience. As simple as that.
Reduced Operating Costs
Through enterprise software, you can significantly reduce business operating costs. As an illustration: instead of constantly purchasing record books where your database can be secured, through mobile technology and other servers, you reduce the cost of buying paraphernalia for your business. You can even automate back-end functions to streamline productivity.
Improved Data Security
As mentioned earlier, data security has been very effective since the use of technology. Every database can be secured online and sync with the company’s account. So the fear of data loss is now out of the picture. Hence, business owners can take advantage of technology in storing their data as it has become more secure than a hard copy.
Increased Work Productivity
Take for instance a publishing company. Polishing a manuscript takes a long time. But with the use of technology, several applications can now check papers easier and faster.
Hence, more work can be done. Furthermore, computer programs help businesses to keep track of information instead of obtaining and writing it manually. Less labor yet the working productivity is still at its finest.
How Should Businesses Respond to and Harness Technology?
Technological innovations have brought out many opportunities which weren’t out before. Technology has helped increase productivity and lessen labor at the same time. It helped business owners to identify their potential buyers and even store and secure their databases online without going through them manually. Moreover, it is easier to track consumers' needs through their fast feedback and reviews, thanks to online platforms which allow them to freely review products.
In the past years, the stress fell on the shoulders of business owners as they had to skim through the vast customers and manually monitor their wants and needs. But with technology, everything has become easier and convenient. Thus, businesses should not react violently to technology. Instead, use it as an advantage to attract more customers and to also improve their marketing strategies easier than before.
Move Beyond Traditional Marketing
Let us move past traditional marketing. No one no longer wants to be mobbed by marketers just to convince them to buy products. Marketing strategies that have worked before have become now boring and less interesting. Giving away leaflets, cold calling, and PR are time-consuming and not quantifiable enough in their results. Instead of mobbing prospects, use digital marketing so consumers can initiate the relationship on their own terms.
Technology is the key to make everything convenient on both ends - business owners and buyers.
In this era where technology runs the course of action within the economy, it is time to accept its benefits and use its advantages. Although challenges would still be present, technological advancements also pose various solutions that are feasible and accessible.
Going digital can help you cater to varying customer expectations on product and service quality. Technology can help gather and harness customer data to deliver value-laden and competitive offers.
Take Advantage of Technology
As stated, technology is not a threat as long as it is used accordingly. It already poses many solutions to help businesses handle customers through their data. Some business technologies you should take advantage of are machine learning, business intelligence, big data, the internet of things, data analytics, predictive reports, and customer relationship management systems.
Communication has been made easy by technology. With that, business owners can modify their approaches and interact with their customers a lot better than traditional marketing. From customer services and whatnot, technology can be helpful in any aspect of a business. Strategies can be identified and refined without compromising too much manpower and money.
With technology, businesses can collect and analyze a large pool of data more efficiently. They can use data analytics tools to find valuable actionable insights. And make better business decisions towards long-term profitability.
With or without technology, a good business must be customer-centric. Empathizing with your customers can be a great help to your business. Listening to their wants, needs, and suggestions, a small business can surely do well. Take advantage of real-time data (Big Data) to offer a personalized customer experience. Offer high-value products and services in return for customer data.
Technology helps human life evolve to its fullest potential. In particular, businesses can take advantage of tech innovations to cater to their customers better. They can respond to changing shopping habits and consumer needs with data-driven business decisions.
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