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.