Our world is in constant flux as a result of new technologies, and the products and services that spring from them. For every new capability that we gain, the way we live our lives changes in some way. Smartphones, e-commerce, and even something as unassuming as ride-sharing have all had an impact on our behavior. This is particularly evident in how we act as consumers, and what we demand from the brands and companies we interact with on a daily basis.
Naturally, if the market sees change, the market adapts. It would bode well for any brand and marketer to be cognizant of emerging tech that will have an impact on the way consumers behave. There are a number of these upcoming advancements that will have a major influence on people as they become viable and mainstream. More than just understanding how they will change lives, it’s essential for marketers to understand how this will change what consumers want and how receptive they will be to current marketing and advertising strategies. With that in mind, here is a look at how prominent new technologies will create the new consumer of tomorrow.
5G has been on the horizon for a while now, and both experts and consumers have high expectations for its implementation. Among many things, it is purported to allow for reduced power consumption and longer battery life, stronger security, and even help enable smarter smart devices, such as self-driving cars. But above all else, 5G promises to be fast — increased bandwidth, lower latency and higher connection density will allow us to blow past the limitations of 4G. Networks will be many times faster, and will be able to handle many more devices at once.
Speed is already something consumers desire: they want websites to load fast, to be able to quickly access and purchase items from their desktop and their mobile devices. Already, surveys show that nearly 70 percent of consumers say that web page speeds impact their willingness to interact with and purchase from a brand. So with 5G, customers will want no excuses.
The abilities of 5G also give marketers greater freedom to include higher bandwidth and more complex digital marketing strategies. Videos will load faster, personalization can be changed and optimized in real-time, and communication with chatbots or live service reps will be smooth and painless. When 5G comes front and center, consumers will expect speed, and with speed means greater capability to make the consumer experience as helpful and engaging as possible.
Voice-enabled tech and digital assistants are nifty and convenient advancements that truly feel like they’re straight out of a sci-fi movie. Of course, digital assistants are still a ways away from being able to hold full and complex conversations, but using devices with Alexa, Cortana, Siri, and Google Assistant are becoming commonplace. And as AI, speech recognition and natural language processing continues to develop, these AI-driven voices will become uncanny in their abilities to service consumers.
Today’s marketers rely on highlighting keywords and SEO practices, but voice-enabled tech will cause consumers to shift toward natural speech in order to find the products and brands that they are looking for. This means that marketers must follow suit. After all, an Adobe Analytics Report claimed that 47 percent of current consumers would already prefer to use digital assistant technology to inform their purchase decisions.
While SEO and keywords won’t be erased completely, utilizing these advancements to account for natural language phrases or questions will help marketers remain relevant in searches as the technology gets better. The power of AI to understand humans more naturally will increase consumer desires to be easily understood, no matter the circumstances.
It made perfect sense that the first industry that AR/VR technology would break into is gaming. But as it becomes more capable, it’s gaining traction in other areas like construction or real estate — it’s also impacting retailers and everyday brands. Companies and marketers should be aware of how impactful the immersion aspect of AR/VR technology will be on consumers. AR allows for the integration of data and information with a real-world experience, while VR can simulate actual scenarios.
AR and VR fundamentally create a deeper engagement with products, and so as the technology becomes more prominent, consumers will crave it more. According to research by Shopify, 40 percent of customers are willing to pay more for a product if they are able to experience the product via AR beforehand. Finding clever and natural ways to integrate AR and VR into digital channels and marketing strategies can help brands forge a stronger relationship with customers. As just one example of how this is already being used, Home Depot’s app allows for customers to hold up their smartphones to see what new paint colors would look like on their walls, even offering a look at similar shades and other options.
Beyond just looking to the quickly-approaching horizon and discerning what technologies will shape consumer behavior, it’s a given that companies should always consider how adopting emerging tech would benefit them and their customers. Finding the strongest and most seamless strategies for harnessing these technologies will allow them to address the desires those same advancements will stir in people.