Raghuram Kuchibhatla, Founder and CEO of Yes!poho, launched the brand in 2017 with the idea to improve the shopping experiences and provide satisfaction to the customers. Raghuram intends to improve the livelihood and social-economic conditions of the craftsman, the dying culture of handloom and handicraft artisans. At the same time, he aims to offer his customers the best experiences in terms of unlimited sources, product availability, and convenience to all customers across India and in the world. Raghuram pursued his Masters in Electrical and Computer Science from Lamar University, Texas & Accounting, and Finance from Pace University, New York. He also acquired his technical Certification in Microsoft certified solution developer, and is also a project management professional PMI.
Access to new technology has empowered and connected consumers like never before. Every area of human decision-making is impacted by one or the other technological advancement, with the internet being one of the most profound.
The advent of the internet has completely changed how consumers and businesses interact with each other. Every sale and purchase can now be made in real-time online. Add to that the ease of interconnectivity due to social media, and people can easily follow and interact not just with other people but with brands and businesses. According to Global WebIndex, 54% of consumers use social media to research products they want to buy.
Let’s take a look at a few technological advancements that have accelerated this shift:
Smartphones have transformed the way business is conducted
Let’s look at how the smartphone industry has evolved over the years. Devices that started with voice calls and basic texts have now evolved into instruments that allow you to connect with anyone across the globe using video, text, or voice through the power of the internet. Today, the internet is the fourth most essential thing after food, clothes, and housing and its access in the palm of your hands has completely changed business, communication, and content consumption across the globe. People are now using smartphones for everything from shopping to entertainment and this shift is influencing how companies conduct business. Every major company out there now focuses on creating mobile-first content so that they can access their consumers where they spend most of their time.
Wi-Fi Enabled Devices to replace Set-top Boxes
Another major transition has been wifi-enabled devices replacing the traditional set-top boxes. Amazon Fire TV Stick and the Google Chrome Cast were already major players in the industry but with the advent of smart TVs that connect directly to the internet, users can access their favorite media websites without connecting an additional device. It is anticipated that Indian consumers will move away from the set-top box model to the subscription model in a big way in 2022.
In the subscription model, viewers have the freedom to elect their preferred content on the go. Platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are leading this space and we will see the trend changing the television viewing patterns of Indian observers. Though in the incipient stage, the concept of pay as you use’ is picking up in India and it’s set to be revolutionary in terms of how we perceive digital content.
Easy Access to Digital Services
With the arrival of low-cost Internet services, the consumption of digital services has increased tremendously in tier-2, tier-3, and pastoral areas. This is likely to increase further with the government putting a lot of emphasis on enhancing digital services in the pastoral corridor. The proactive growth and usage of the internet in these regions will remove information barriers and enhance education, skill-building, and connectivity. The husbandry and education sectors will be the biggest heirs of this digital surge and the consumption of digital services will multiply manifold in the coming time.
Smart Wearables are no longer reserved for the urban rich
With increasing awareness of fitness and health, we’re already seeing the demand for wearable technology increase. This is likely to grow even further in the pastoral areas as well as among the civic population. The demand for fitness trackers and smartwatches in particular is set to witness exponential growth in 2022. Presently, the smart wearables are majorly limited to commercial gifting, but with the buying patterns of Indian consumers changing significantly, they’ll soon become a mass product.
SSDs to be new means of Data Storage
With an increasing demand for better quality data storage devices, we see users shifting from traditional hard drives — which are bulky and easily breakable — to solid-state drives (SSDs), which are more dependable, long-lasting, and affordable. People are expected to rely on SSDs in a bigger way due to their improved performance and durability over hard drives and pall.
Gaming to become Serious Fun
While India is far behind the US and China when it comes to having a robust gaming ecosystem, the field is gaining traction steadily in the country. We will see smartphones continue to reign online gaming while also seeing an increase in demand for PC and console-based games. Online gaming leagues and E-sport events such as GeForce Cup, The ROG Masters, Indian eSports Championship, ESL India Premiership, Nazara Games eSports League, etc. are becoming popular among the youth, and gaming is expected to become a legitimately-considered profession in the country in the coming years.
How these changes are impacting consumer behavior?
Consumers’ expectations are at an all-time high as a result of the influence of technology. With digital pioneers continually raising the bar, customers compare the experience of buying from you to your competitors and the experience they receive from Amazon, Netflix, etc. Consumers expect more responsive, relevant, and targeted communication, products, and services from the companies they buy from.
In 2022, mobile accounted for 50.44% of the total global internet business and according to a Google report, 90% of consumers use more than one device to accomplish a single task online. A shopper looking to purchase a product might start the journey after seeing an advertisement on television and research the products using their Smartphone. After evaluating different products, they might end up using their laptop to check to price and complete the purchase.
Therefore, companies need to be there with the right messaging at the right time, whichever device their client uses to reach out. Determining how to reach every follower and how digital touchpoints interconnect is the challenge that needs to be overcome.
Earlier, companies used to have set business hours, and consumers would have to wait before contacting a customer service representative or purchasing a product. On the contrary, nowadays consumers expect tailored experiences on demand. If a consumer is forced to wait for a response from customer service or to buy a product, they are likely to find a competitor that offers a better experience. The bar for satisfactory customer experience has become higher, with consumers expecting more and more from companies.
Additionally, consumers of today are becoming increasingly aware of their power and don’t shy to use it when they don’t receive a positive experience while dealing with a company. According to a study by American Express, over 50% of Americans have scrapped a planned purchase because of a bad customer experience, and 74% of people have switched brands because the purchasing process was too difficult.
Therefore businesses that fail to acknowledge these factors and meet consumer expectations, could very well see their market share tumble.
What Do Businesses Need to Do?
To take advantage of this change in consumer behavior, it’s vital that the brands have a strong social media and digital presence. That starts with a Dynamic Digital Ecosystem. Companies need to integrate all marketing channels to deliver a cohesive client experience irrespective of the channel used to reach your business. This means that companies need to build an omnichannel marketing strategy and study the influence of technology on consumer behavior thoroughly.
An omnichannel strategy enables the brand to create personalized, contextually relevant experiences that engage consumers in the right place, at the right time, and with the right message as they move between devices. The success of this kind of strategy depends entirely on the end-user experience – the customer. As consumers switch between channels, devices, e-commerce, and brick-and-mortar stores, the transition should be seamless.
For example, a shopper discovers a product on Facebook and ask a sales question on the platform. After receiving an answer, the shopper visits the company website to complete the purchase but elects to pick up the product in-store. The transition between digital channels and e-commerce to brick-and-mortar should be smooth. All of the touch points in the journey contribute to a strong customer experience and a successful omnichannel marketing strategy.
Remarketing plays a crucial role in ensuring the success of an omnichannel strategy. Cart and browser abandonment emails and push notifications to allow for re-engagement tactics once a shopper has left your website and switched to another device at a later time.
Omnichannel means not only the integration of digital channels but also the in-store experience provided to customers. Location-based messaging can be a powerful tool for creating personalised customer experiences in-store.
A key advantage of an omnichannel strategy is the access to relevant customer data, which enables personalization tactics and delivers the experiences that consumers demand. Customers tracked across multiple devices produce 6x more data than those that are not. According to a study by Monetate, shoppers that were tracked across multiple devices showed significantly better results across several KPIs including:
- A 30% increase in product views
- A 49% increase in purchases
- A $15 increase in average order value
There are many opportunities to engage with consumers and improve sales revenue, but only if your business is equipped with the right tools and data infrastructure to capitalize on them. Companies need a deep understanding of their customers and their shopping behavior to deliver a seamless experience and boost demand. That’s only possible when customer data is effectively utilized.
Using technology to your advantage
While the influence of technology is resulting in higher expectations among the consumers, it also offers solutions to companies to meet those expectations. Marketing automation software and AI-powered chatbots are a few examples of how technology can enable brands to better communicate with their customers.
As per consumer studies, chatbots are getting increasingly integrated into our everyday lives. According to Mobile Marketer, 40% of millennials interact with chatbots daily. These AI-powered chatbots enable companies to be there with applicable messaging and information whenever the consumer chooses to reach out.
This has a significant impact on client servicing, and on the experience that brands can offer to their guests. And even consumers are nowadays more willing to buy directly through chatbots. According to HubSpot’s exploration, 47% of consumers are open to making a purchase from a chatbot.
In addition to better client servicing, chatbots are helping businesses by providing detailed records of exchanges with guests. This new slice of data can then be anatomized to reveal perceptivity on consumer pain points and ways to ameliorate products and services.
As more and more companies start utilizing AI to empower their customer communications and marketing, consumer expectations will increase even further. Companies will need to prepare and equip their departments with the tools they’ll need to provide a consistently high-quality experience that exceeds their customers’ expectations.
Technology is continually evolving and will always impact consumer behavior. The speed of that change is getting faster. With IoT and 5G still emerging, companies need to prepare by identifying trends now and capitalise on them before it is too late.
The influence of technology is a powerful catalyst for change. If companies don’t move with technology, they might well get left behind and witness their market share fall.