4 ways technology impacts consumer behavior

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Consumer holding a photo of a shopping cart in a supermarket

Can you imagine your world without any elements of technology in it? No right? Love it or hate it, technology has taken over different areas of our lives without us even realizing it. While there are numerous debates regarding the pros and cons of technology, one thing is obvious technology promotes innovation and development. 

Even during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, technological advancements have been a savior to millions of people around the world. Tech trends continue to evolve at breathtaking speeds and it can get difficult to keep up with them. However, as technology evolves, we can also see its impact on consumer behavior. 

State-of-the-art technologies coupled with social media are some of the key factors that have a strong influence on the behavior of a modern consumer. Brands should study this and leverage their findings to gain an advantage over their competitors. 

Without further ado, let’s take a look at how technology has impacted consumer behavior over the last few years. 

SEE ALSO: AR as Retailer’s best friend during the pandemic to reach the consumers

Effect of technology on modern consumer behavior

1. Modern consumers are more connected to businesses than ever before

One of the most notable changes brought about by technology is that consumers are more connected to brands than ever before. Consumers can use smart devices including smartphones and tablets to ask queries, buy products, and even leave their feedback. 

Online shopping has exploded over the past decade. Do not believe us? Around 2.14 billion people shopped online in 2021 – a 4% growth from the numbers in 2020 [1]. This means that around 27% of the world’s population has gone on to purchase something online. 

While the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic has also been a major driver, the growth is also attributed to tech innovations and developments. 

The arrival of social media has also proved to be a major game-changer in modern consumerism. Today, consumers turn to social media platforms to interact with brands and resolve their queries. Having said that, social media is also playing a pivotal role in helping buyers make purchase decisions. GlobalWebIndex suggests that around 54% of social media users use social media to research different products [2]. 

Since more and more customers are using social media and connected to the internet, brands need to make the most of this opportunity. Companies need to find innovative ways to make an impression and carve their unique presence in the competitive landscape. 

2. Multiple devices in the hands of consumers

A customer browsing an e-commerce site on a tablet

Did you know that around 50.44% of the global internet traffic came from mobiles in 2019? [3]. The penetration of wearables, tablets, and other smart devices has also increased significantly in the past few years, enabling consumers to browse and purchase products on the internet more easily. 

It has also been observed that consumers do not use only one device throughout the buying journey. Google says that 90% of consumers make use of more than one device to accomplish one task online. 

For example, a user might see an advertisement on the browser he is using on their laptop and research the product on a mobile device. After navigating through the internet after thorough research, they might use their laptops to compare the prices and complete the purchase. 

Companies and brands need to ensure that they send the right message to the buyers at every stage of their buying process. The challenge will remain to determine how they want to reach their target audience and how they can interconnect different digital touchpoints. 

3. Customer expectations have increased

An online shopper filling their online cart

Consumer expectations are at their peak due to the advent of technology. The impact of technology on consumers is very evident here as digital pioneers have raised the bar consistently. Today, customers compare their buying experience across different brands before they declare their loyalty toward them. Consumers expect more relevant, responsive, and personalized communication from brands. 

Previously, companies had set a number of working hours, preventing consumers from reaching out to them during non-business hours. However, things have changed a lot now as brands are expected to be online across social media 24×7. If a user has to wait for a long time to get a response, they are likely to find a competitor. 

Providing a seamless experience is higher and companies are expecting a lot more from companies. Besides, customers know that they are the king and are likely to use that upper hand to their advantage if they do not receive the experience they were looking for. 

This is why businesses need to quickly identify what their customers are looking for, where are they looking, and how they can improve their experience with them. Owing to this trend, AI-powered chatbots have become very popular in the last few years and their adoption is expected to grow. 

4. Design of a physical store and online platforms

Consumer behavior is very often stimulated by external factors including recommendations, music, references, and more in comparison to internal factors. Thus, the external factors including the layout and design of the online store or a platform have become a very important factor in today’s digital era. When external factors are more visible, consumers are likely to tune their behavior accordingly. 

Wrapping it up!

Without a shadow of a doubt, technology has evolved at a rapid pace and its impact can be observed in the changing consumer behavior. Consumer needs and requirements are evolving rapidly and at a pace, we have never seen before. In addition, as the internet of things (IoT) and 5G continue to mature, we are likely to see even more changes in consumer behavior in the future. 

Brands should be aware of these trends and changes and identify how they can capitalize on them before their competitors get an edge. 

SEE ALSO: Consumers Say They Would Stop Doing Business with Companies Following a Data Breach

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Feature Image Source: Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Image 1 Source: Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Image 2 Source: Image by justynafaliszek from Pixabay

Sources:

[1] Martin. M (2021) “Online Shopping Statistics: COVID-19 Influence, Trends, and More” TheCircularBoard [online] Accessed [May 2022]

[2] Beer. C (2018) “Social Browsers Engage with Brands” GWI [online] Accessed [May 2022]

[3] Ceci.L (2022) “Mobile internet usage worldwide – statistics & facts” Statista [online] Accessed [May 2022]

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Karandeep is a technical content writer based out of Pune, a city in India that is also known as the Oxford of the East. His journey with writing started in 2014 when he decided to try his luck in a gaming startup as a Content Developer. Since then, he has written on a wide range of topics within the gaming and the tech space. Apart from his love for gaming, Karandeep is keeping tabs on the hottest trends in the tech industry. After completing his Bachelors in Business Administration (BBA) from Symbiosis International University, Pune, he worked as an intern in an NGO that focused on urban development.
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