How technology is changing customers

In the past few years, how customers interact with a lot of businesses has changed, mostly due to the changes in technology. We are now immersed in social media, online shopping, and having everything pretty much a few clicks away. This has provided so many more choices to customers, but it’s also an exciting shift when it comes to communication design, because it also provides so many more opportunities for businesses to share their story.

Social media allows businesses to share a little bit of “behind the scenes” – things that normally wouldn’t be put into a formal brochure or website. Personal stories add depth and a connection between business owners and their customers, especially for small businesses. It’s not just about what the business sells anymore, but how and why. Customers have definitely become more inquisitive – it’s a lot less about just randomly walking into a store or picking something off a large catalogue website.

The changes with what’s possible online hasn’t just created places for reviews and counting how many followers (or likes) a business has – but allows customers (potential, current and past) to interact with businesses without needing to call or visit. And when they find images they love, customers share them online with their own friends and followers – almost becoming brand reps without you realising.

The changes have also opened up so many options to customers to customise their experience with businesses – whether they want to visit in store, place orders online, pick up the phone or touch base via messages on social media.
With the use of social media and with customers having so many more options available to them, there has also been a big increase in personalised orders for products. Whether it’s choosing colour options for an existing product, or getting to create something using their own photos, or asking for something completely customised based on other products a business has made, customers have a much greater say in making their purchases customised to their preferences.

While this may seem daunting for some businesses – as it can turn what was a product based business into a service business – this is an exciting step in connecting with customers. It means that business owners have to think about how they promote their products and services in different ways than before, but the feedback and interaction with customers (both potential and past) is an asset that we’ve never had access to before.