Every kid knows that some of the most painstakingly boring experiences growing up involved being dragged to the store by your mom for a two-hour long grocery shopping spree. At least that’s how it was when I was growing up.
However, in the last five years as the popularity of cheap, and affordable technology like smartphones and tablets increased I saw the world experience an evolution in digital business. It’s now easier than ever to order your favorite shoes, clothes, or even food and have them on your door within a few hours.
Why would my mom want to walk around a store for hours when an entire order can be placed at Kroger with the click of a button, and be ready for pickup in a few minutes? I didn’t truly understand the significance of this until I realized my mom hadn’t physically walked around a store in days. All my mom has to do is order a weeks’ worth of groceries and pick them up on Monday, couldn’t be much easier than that.
Services like these have become more common as the digital age of retail emerged in recent years. The amount of online commerce has grown tremendously as internet based retailers like Amazon and eBay saw the profit potential for online services. Customers are all about instant gratification, and what better way than delivering something to their home at the click of a button?
There was only one problem standing between the businesses and their consumer. There seemed to be no good way to reach their intended customers.
The release of versatile smartphones in recent years is the main reason that internet based organizations like Amazon have grown so quickly. With the release of iPhone in 2007, the world began a new age of internet business.
Company’s now diverted their marketing and sales toward a platform that would allow them to reach millions of people around the world. However, this also posed some technical challenges for businesses that chose to commit to this shift towards digital commerce.
For years companies could rely on their customers to be predictable; advertising in regions that were known to have a high population of their target audience. However, when the platform you are selling your items on is accessible to virtually anyone, it is hard to advertise properly. This is where the importance of smartphones came in. Companies realized that the only reliable way to reach their customers would involve a system of targeted advertising. Instead of printing an ad in the local paper, companies now had to actively seek out customers and categorize their interests and hobbies so that they could show them ads that best reflected their lifestyle.
This technological obstacle is one of the most significant changes to tech industry in the last 5 years. The ability to target a specific group of users based on their interactions is an important tool that only comes with the use of personal devices such as the smartphone. Without overcoming this technological obstacle, the world of digital business would be completely different.
In the coming years, I suspect that the obstacles will most likely revolve around maintaining the interface of mobile devices and also the enhancement of customer relationship management due to the customers information transmitted via their mobile device. What your customer wants, who they are, where they are and how to best get them your product will all be guided via the customers’ interaction with a phone or tablet.
The future of technology will revolve around the world of business and it is no surprise that some of the biggest advances yet have been a product of corporate action. The future of smartphones will continue to shape the way we progress our technology by controlling the consumer at every step.
About the Author
Jonah Anthony is a freshman at Texas Tech University majoring in Computer Science. Jonah hopes to be the head developer and owner of a major software company one day.