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With the technological development, today’s products have reached an unimaginable position that no one ever imagined 20 years ago. Smart devices, artificial intelligence and automation changed consumer habits and business world radically. These technologies present new chances to companies. Companies have to change with developing period to follow changing consumer patterns. Automation as a technological development makes consumer life and their consumption easier with providing efficiency and benefiting the results of consumption. (Leung,E., Paolacci, G., Puntoni, S,. 2018). It affects also consumer’s buying behaviour.
Consumer behaviour is related to how consumers buy products or services and why they decide purchasing a product/service.
Although many factors such as cultural and personal can influence consumer behaviour, technological factors are more influential on the market recently. With the advancement of technology, customers’ choices are affected by their perceptions and influences of technology. Especially the entrance of the Internet changes the consumer behaviour with social media, online blogs and search engines. The most visible example of this is that many people abandon their existing product and buy new ones when a new product is released with the effect of social media.
Consumers benefited from advertisements, phones from seller, and references from other people when they were actualizing a purchasing action. Their past experiences about buying could guide them.
With the evolution of technology, this process has changed. According to Statuslab (2018), 90% of consumers had not been determined about a brand before starting their search. A buying decision could not be made without product or brand research.
Companies can gain good reputation with evaluation comments and rating via online platforms unlike face to face relations. Social media can be given as an example for a large online platform. Both customers and retailers would meet in this area. Retailers try to affect customers and understand the buying patterns of customers based on virtual environment. This virtual environment and technology provide fast communication and distribution. In old times, products produced in the certain area and distribution is limited by near locations.
Today, transportation has improved a lot; thus, distribution of products can be done to remote places quickly with low cost. In addition, many people use smartphones and mobile apps rather than catalogues and mail order. Catalogues showed the product and price and led customers with providing accumulated data. Now, smartphones help consumers for shopping and mobile apps change the consumer behaviour and make consumer’s life easier in certain services such as shopping, banking and travelling. With smartphones, customers can obtain any product when they want without having to go a shop in working hours. So, Jose mentioned, “There is a direct impact between increasing demand of smartphone and purchase pattern of consumers.” With the technological devices, the expectation of customers is also altered.
There are many advantages that technology provides to both companies and consumers. The most important advantage is flow of information. Firstly, receiving information about the consumer is the key of successful marketing in terms of companies. The Internet provides companies to get information about potential customers and satisfy their needs. With today’s technology, connecting customers when they are online or not is very easy. The demand of consumers can be met by using technology. People share their feelings, choices and passions through social media. Companies can reach consumers over digital platforms and satisfy them with smart products and artificial intelligence. Also, some companies create recommendations for gathering information from their potential customers.
Using cookies which is saving customers’ preferences based on online mobility can help companies to get information about customers. Companies can learn how often customers do shopping or what are the consumers interests in this way. So, they can easily collect data for consumer behaviour. Moreover, technology has made creating selling resources with low cost. Everybody can use a computer, connect to internet and then, create a website and start selling. The Interest in e-commerce is consistently increasing. Working on digitally is very serviceable with using information technologies in terms of purchasing and servicing online. Based on the Future of Retail 2016, consumers expect fast shipping, delivery and online returns and communicate with technology-based activities. Self-service technologies allow interaction between consumers and companies.
For example, package tracking and many services via the Internet are the most common applications of self-service technologies. People expect more technological interactions when they are using a product or service. Internet can create demand and meet the demand at the same time. The properties of Internet make it a good market. Customers can be aware of products and brands thanks to digital environment. Social media and search engines help customers to find the right product at the right price and location. Internet renews customer’s market knowledge and provide the best offerings about purchasing. When they are disappointed with a product or service, they can verbalize their opinions and share their experiences with others in online platforms. With the information technologies, this can be very fast and it leads online feedback mechanism.
So, companies can regard these comments and supply customer’s need and expectations on this basis. These comments can involve comparisons with the competitors’ products or service. It can shape the market and buying decision. By means of technology, customers are associated with each other and they can fulfil their needs and wants. In conclusion, technology has an impact on changing consumer behaviour because the flow of information and the way of transfer is changing. New communication ways affect customers and their buying decisions thanks to Internet. Customers are also getting aware of their purchasing power and the market with the development of technologies. This causes that consumers act and buy differently. They can search the existing and new offerings and compare the products via social media.
Also, customers can share their experiences and comments about products with other potential customers. On the other hand, companies can use the social media as guidance. They need to understand customers’ preferences and behaviour. Understanding of that becomes uncomplicated because many people share what they want to buy or what they used in social media. Using smartphones and other smart devices make the process easy. In the future, technology will develop continually and change people’s life. Innovative products can create new market demands and possibility to companies for reaching new markets. Expectations and demands of consumers will change. Correspondingly, consumer’s buying behaviour will also change.
Companies who serve customers will have to respond the changing situation; otherwise, they could not exist in the market. For example, flexible automation can provide new opportunities to market with targeted customers and segments. If a company cannot follow this innovation, it would not manage to survive in the near future as an existing company. The increasing demand of artificial intelligence can create proficient products which can make decision instead of humans. This may affect the buying behaviour of consumers. Some machines may make buying decision without our actions. The answer to how consumers be affected in terms of interaction with product and market relationship will be given in the future.
Brynjolfsson, E., Smith, D.M.(2000 April) Frictionless Commerce? A Comparison of Internet and Conventional Retailers Retrieved from http://ebusiness.mit.edu/erik/frictionless.pdf
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HubSpot. (2018). The Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics for 2018. Retrieved from https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics
Jose, J. (2017). Impact of Technology on Consumer Behaviour. IRA-International Journal of Management & Social Sciences (ISSN 2455-2267), 6(2), 264-267. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.21013/jmss.v6.n2.p10
Leung, E., Paolacci, G., Puntoni, s. (2018, December 18). Man versus Machine: Resisting Automation in Identity-Based Consumer Behavior. Retrieved from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0022243718818423
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STUDY: Nearly a Third of Consumers Now Shop Online At Least Once Per Week. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.walkersands.com/press-room/study-nearly-a-third-of-consumers-now-shop-online-at-least-once-per-week/
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