How Technology Is Changing Consumer Behavior

Woman shopping online with card in hand

Digital technology is having a huge impact on commerce as the Industrial Revolution did during the 18th and 19th centuries—and things are changing far more quickly than they did back then. If you choose to enroll in the Doctor of Business Administration with an Emphasis in Marketing degree program from Grand Canyon University, you’ll explore a modern, relevant curriculum that includes a look at the interplay of digital technology and consumer behavior.

Consumer Expectations of Customer Service

One crucial way in which technology has affected companies is the increasing expectation of 24/7 access to customer service. Consumers have grown accustomed to doing both window-shopping and purchasing online. Since Wi-Fi is readily available in private homes, worksites and public places, they can shop from anywhere at any time. The 24/7 access to shops naturally translates to the expectation that customers will also have access to assistance around the clock. If, for example, a shopper has a question about a clothing shop’s size chart and they cannot get the answer quickly, the shopper is likely to purchase the item elsewhere. Businesses need to adapt and take advantage of all available technology, including remote customer service agents and chat bots.

Consumer Interpretations of Brand Reputation

Modern consumers like to solicit recommendations. If they’re looking for a great pizza place, they’ll search a review site online or ask their friends on social media. This can generate robust traffic through word-of-mouth referrals, but there’s a potential downside. Just one or two bad reviews can damage your brand’s reputation. It can be enough to convince the shopper to settle for a brand that received consistently mediocre reviews, even if yours had primarily good reviews with a few bad ones. As a result, to stay competitive, companies need to actively work to protect and improve their reputations by directly engaging with the consumer base online.

Consumer Preferences for Personalization

Artificial intelligence algorithms are making it easier than ever for companies to predict what any given customer might buy next, based on that person’s previous purchases. It’s now generally expected for shoppers to enjoy a customized browsing and buying experience. This also translates to service industries, not just retail. Take the hypothetical example of a community credit union. A member representative notices that a member is using a student ID and offers to explain the available student loans or student discount offers. Even if this doesn’t result in a loan application, the member will certainly remember that the credit union employee went the extra mile to customize the banking experience. That member is more likely to stick with the credit union for years to come.

All these changes and improvements to digital technology has changed the consumer behavior and had an impact on commerce greatly. With technology constantly morphing and growing, more changes can be expected in the near future.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.