A story on how smart devices influence the way people find your business.
After calling out to my laptop, "Siri, play Classical Chill on Spotify", and immediately remembering my laptop does not have Siri (because it is not a MacBook), I began to ponder over how much I subconsciously relied on my smart devices. My iPhone is friendlier to use than my laptop, and in a moment of dependability, I found a new appreciation for the personal assistant I have unlimited access to.
‘At one’s fingertips’ is associated with an ease of accessibility. However, our fingertips need not make an effort now, as our voices can easily do the task at hand. We can ask our virtual home assistant to search for banana loaf recipes online, to set a timer for the oven or to effortlessly order a freshly-baked banana loaf from a local bakery.
We are part of a technological revolution where smart speakers, sensors, phones, and other devices are using artificial intelligence to analyse our browsing behaviour. The purpose of this technology is to improve the efficiency and productivity of the way we communicate, work and live in general. People are increasingly browsing on their phones and their smart devices. It’s a trend that is on the rise and one to pay attention to, particularly if you’re a business with an online presence.
High-speed browsing has become the norm. Consumers instinctively expect a streamlined journey when browsing online – the ease of searching and exploring a product range to the simplicity of the checkout process is crucial. For instance, if you have an online retail store, have you considered mobile optimisation for a fast-loading website and a higher ranking in search engines? Have you implemented chatbots for customer assistance? Do you have facial recognition to pre-fill customer details at the checkout? If the users’ journey is time-consuming, and users cannot get the immediate assistance they require, the chance of potential customers leaving your site to go elsewhere is possible. Simple modifications can have a valuable impact, driving your business towards a higher online sales conversion rate.
Social media developers focus primarily on a smartphone-friendly interface. Businesses can advertise on social media platforms in a myriad of ways including direct post-to-product click-throughs, influencer marketing and one that often gets brought up at social gatherings - retargeted or ‘dynamic’ advertising; have you ever noticed after browsing an item on a website that you suddenly see the item all over your Facebook and Instagram? This is not a coincidence.
As a consumer, you might already be on board with smart technology or still sitting on the fence, feeling uneasy whenever Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa unexpectedly interrupts a conversation, thinking you have spoken to her. But there is no denying it is an exciting era to be living in; where smart technology is developing at an incredible speed, changing the way we do many things now, and in the future.
We are in a world where we can pop our earphones in, ask our smartwatch to play a running playlist and to send a message to a friend, all while the watch monitors our heart rate and measures the distance and calories from a run. There are rumours of future Garmin and Apple watches having the ability to check blood oxygen levels and monitor sleep at an advanced level. Do we need this? My answer - do we not?
One device made for home use is the Google Nest Max - acting as a surveillance system, house thermostat and controller to your connected lighting and speakers throughout your home. It’s also a platform to make video calls, watch YouTube and browse online. What could they possibly add to future releases?
AI technology will inevitably continue to influence the way people expect to experience many processes. Whether you’re a YouTube-famous chef or a hair salon in a town diluted with competitors; to survive in this technological age, you must be as smart as the technology people are using and consider the way people are interacting with you and your business.
Candice Darryl Groves
Photo: Graffiti in Shoreditch, London.
To witness this unity and altruism while the population faces the uncertainty of the future, leaves me feeling hopeful.
If there’s one thing I’ve missed during the London lockdown, it’s dining out.
Playing out the experience in my mind alone makes me itch for an outing. Getting glammed up, embracing your loved ones, contemplating cocktails only to order the same as your friends, dilated pupils studying the menu, and cheerily meaningful chats leading into the late hour. Now, that’s my kind of fantasy.
My ‘last supper' was at the beginning of March at Dishoom Shoreditch. Sipping our East India gimlets and savouring every mouthful of the tender and spicy chicken ruby, my friends and I were oblivious to the fact that this would be our last dinner outside of the house, for quite some time. I’m completely satisfied with my last supper choice, as I am with the decision of a karaoke bar afterwards.
I miss the days of being able to enjoy my favourite Southeast Asian cuisine at Pawpaw restaurant, back home in Brisbane, Australia. If I could jump onto their takeaway app right now, my order would include pad Thai, steamed bao, papaya salad, and probably a load more, because that’s what you do when you want something you can’t have. I want the whole lot. *snaps fingers*
Dishoom and Pawpaw. One is in London, the other in Brisbane. However, distance is the only thing separating the two restaurant Groups right now, as both businesses similarly tend to those in need during the coronavirus crisis.
I worked with Pawpaw and the Venzin Group before my move to London. I was the marketing and events lady who launched the Venzin magazine. Those of you who have a copy, I hope you’ve been making use of the recipes during this welcomed baking season! I’ve already made the peanut butter banana bread and snapper green curry. Dishoom has a cookery book too. If it’s Bombay comfort food you desire, you can try replicating the okra fries or lamb raan as I plan to.
Dishoom and Pawpaw have a few things in common:
They’re both family-owned businesses and have established themselves as highly-acclaimed restaurants, inspiring the hospitality world and beyond.
They’re my favourite restaurants not only because of their delectable South Asian fare and signature cocktail menus but because of their warm and genuine service, welcoming you through their doors like family.
Lastly on my list - and most relevant to the headline; though they have both had to inevitably limit their services, cut staff and lose revenue, Dishoom and Pawpaw are helping their communities during the current crisis by providing food to the people who are most vulnerable right now.
Supporting their staff and making use of an empty kitchen, the Pawpaw family have been cooking for the homeless, preparing hot meals for those in need. Partnering with food rescue organisation OzHarvest, Pawpaw has humbly invited those who can during this period, to donate to help cover the costs of food ingredients and to enable them to keep their chefs employed. You can read more about the campaign and donate here. #hereforhope
Dishoom has joined forces with leading UK hospitality groups in a campaign to make hot meals that are delivered to London hospitals for critical care staff, and with enough participants, this campaign will reach the nation to feed the NHS. You can read more about the campaign and donate here. #feedNHS
To witness this unity and altruism while the population faces the uncertainty of the future, leaves me feeling hopeful of a silver lining to this pandemic crisis. Hopeful of us learning something from those who may be suffering yet are still in good grace; grateful for what they have, and for what they can do to help others.
PS - If you've enjoyed this story, please feel free to share. We need to spread more positive news during this otherwise disheartening time.