Where would you go when you’re looking for details about a product or a solution? Of course, there’s Google. The Internet has evolved into the dominant source of information, with search engines serving as the primary gateway. You have an entire understanding in your pocket thanks to your smartphone. The Internet has it all: education, essays, product comparisons, self-improvement advice, technical information, diets, do-it-yourself projects, and lolcats. If you are a company, you must be present with relevant content.
People used to have to go to the bank to examine their most basic financial transactions. That was before the advent of online banking and the disintermediation of the financial system. Before retail banking was ‘Uberized.’ Traditional institutions have been obliged to overcome the difficulties of evolution, transforming generic accounts into actual human beings, as a result of technological advancements. They must now shift their attention away from products and money and toward the retail banking customer experience. In the name of personalisation and innovation (mobile wallets, one-touch payments).
Do you still remember phone calls and letters? We have witnessed a complex evolution in the way we connect with other people and with companies. First came the chat rooms and forums, then – especially after the spread of smartphones – social networks and online communities. Face to face communication is still important but we increasingly rely on wide circles of strangers to decide what to do and what to buy. In the mobile era, communication is about building networks.
It is not necessary to know someone in order to love them. You are not under any obligation to pay all of your cards in a few minutes while waiting for the bus. By just downloading an app and filling out a profile, you can now discover the love of your life – or at the very least make new acquaintances. There is a space for you online, whether you are dating or creating professional contacts. This shift has ramifications for businesses: consumers now rely on a broader circle of trust, including people they barely know who can sway their decisions in one way or another.
With the success of Amazon, eBay, and other online marketplaces, going to a physical store to make a purchase is no longer necessary. Shopping for a specific item appears to be a multi-channel experience: you can see a product in the store, research it online, compare pricing across merchants, make the buy in-app, and pick it up at the store. When the retail business is disrupted, the retail customer experience is always reimagined.
Everybody is a doctor in the Internet age. While you should not believe everything you read on the internet, it is indisputable that technology has altered the medical experience and the interaction between doctors and patients. On the one hand, there is the risk of misinformation; on the other, there is a growing realisation that mobile devices can improve one’s quality of life and aid in disease prevention. Wearable technology is at the heart of the self-tracking craze, and when combined with health platforms, it will determine the future of healthcare.
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