There is no doubt about it; developments in technology have changed how we do things today. These changes can present vast opportunities to foster deeper more loyal relationships with new and existing clients turning them into brand advocates.
However, like with most things, there is a downside to these technological developments.
Taking into account a consumer’s decision making process when purchasing a product, the effect of mobile, digital and social media has deepened this process.
New technology is raising the awareness of what is now available, more choices readily available makes it harder for retailers to complete the sell.
According to a recent article in The Guardian ‘traditional advertising has evolved to become more personal and personalised – Facebook advertising, for example, can target individuals based on what they’ve said they like and is almost creating the need before it has been recognised’. Therefore this is what consumers have become to expect when choosing a retailer to buy from.
Research has become a huge part of the buying process now; it’s now not enough for retailers to have a presence on the major review websites that customers visit. They must now pre-empt what their consumer will want and then give it to them before they start searching for it themselves.
With online reviews and ratings available and becoming more popular, retailers need to be continually monitoring not only their own client evaluations but also evaluations of their products.
Technology developments have also led to diminishing of individual selling of platforms as consumers can now buy of many more, including group buying sites such as Groupon.
All of this makes the retail marketers jobs harder than ever. The Guardian believes a deeper understanding of the customer, their online habits and their purchasing habits has become essential. No retailer can afford to ignore the fact that their consumers live an integrated online/offline world and they need to make sure they have an appropriate presence on the channels where their customers are!
So do all of these challenges have a greater negative affect for retailers than the benefits technology offers?
The Guardian, Retail disruption: how technology is influencing consumer buying habits, May 2012
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