“Consumer behaviour in digital world”
18 February, 2015
The invention of the Internet has changed the world we live in, the way we communicate, learn and make purchases. Being ‘plugged-in’ is the part of our everyday life. The changes are so substantial that sudden disappearance of the word ‘digital’ to some extent would be equal to the end of our world. Considering that technology had so significant impact on people’s lives, it probably changed their behaviour as of consumers. The purpose of the essay is to find out how consumer behaviour were affected by digital revolution.
This essay reveals challenges which marketing researchers might face with in the era of digitisation. Discussing the most online-savvy generation there will be proposed the new type of consumers and defined what their role are in digital society. All the shifts in the way modern consumers behave under the influence of digitisation require from companies the adoption of new technologies and to be consistently innovative. Unfortunately, it is easier said than done and many companies limit their new strategies solely by embracing social media. For many firms to operate digitally alongside with traditional way of carrying business the imperative. An addition, in this essay will be suggested how senior management needs to react to new conditions including changes in consumer behaviour.
Today is no surprise that people regardless of their age use technology day-in and day-out. For some it is a part of their working routine, for others – irreplaceable part of lifestyle. In developed world as well as in emerging counties online devices became indispensable in terms of communication and entertainment. Moreover, these devices have been changing the way consumers make decisions. Currently, the number of digitised people exponentially rising. By 2020 it is predicted that the quantity of the Internet enabled devices can reach the benchmark of 50 billion units. Considering the world’s population it sounds unbelievable. In other words, with the population more than 7 billion people, it means that each person in average will have seven smart interconnected devices in their possession. Although, this number would be more realistic if we look broader. Home appliances like refrigerators could be connected to the Internet. A person on her way home didn’t have to go through a supermarket to buy food because the fridge had already ordered it online. ‘Intelligent home’ could include many smart devices from kitchen appliances to ventilation systems and nowadays it doesn’t seem like a fiction. There is no doubt that the modern consumer is the way different from the one 10 years ago. People changing their attitudes and behaviour every day and that makes marketers to take complex and risky decisions (The digitisation of everything, 2011).
To predict consumer behaviour and to identify their hidden needs is a task for a new approach of obtaining consumer insights. By means of traditional research is no longer possible to say what people might want in the near future. For instance, in 2007 as part of study carried by global media company Universal McCann people were asked their opinion on not existing at that time smartphone (iPhone1). The question whether they like the idea of replacing their cell phone, MP3 player and photo camera with one device received 70% of negative response. It was found that citizens of affluent countries such as USA, Germany and Japan did not anticipate this kind of product (Drouin, 2011). On the other hand, the different story happened with another revolutionary product called Segway. Famous marketing gurus including Steve Jobs predicted Segway a success. It was a new word in high-tech world. Even though, this product did not create a viral buzz among consumers. These examples justify the complexity and unpredictability of consumers’ needs.
Nonetheless, technology can be used in marketing research and