Technology is always changing; however, never before has technology evolved at such a swift pace. The capabilities we now have are allowing those in the tech industry to rapidly build upon preexisting ideas and produce revolutionary products and services that transform every area of our lives.
Power to the Consumers
Specifically, changes in technology over the past decade have changed how consumers buy. An entirely new billion-dollar industry has popped up – ecommerce – and buyers are no longer restricted to purchasing goods and services in physical stores. While businesses have benefited from this new sales channel, so have consumers.
The most notable advantage today’s consumers have is access to incredible amounts of information. No longer are you limited to the information retail sales associates and newspapers give. You can find an answer to any question you have with a few strokes on your keyboard.
This ability to research purchase decisions, ask questions, and find answers has made every shopper more prepared. No longer are consumers forced to trust what they’re told. Instead, they can comparison shop and find the best price or quality for themselves. This is raising up an army of smart, sophisticated consumers that demand good deals and flexible terms.
It’s especially interesting to note how internet technology has revolutionized industries like real estate. Where you were once forced to hire an agent or look for signs in front yards, you can now browse the market from the comfort of your phone or computer. Websites offer detailed pages with listed amenities, search features, and helpful community information. As a result, most homebuyers already have an idea of what they want before calling an agent.
Most notable is that physical boundaries are disappearing. A consumer living in Los Angles can order a product from New York City and expect it to arrive within a week. If he wants it sooner, he can probably order overnight shipping and have it the next day.
This ability to buy what you want, when you want, from wherever you want is transforming the way people buy products. It means you’re never limited by where you live and gives you leverage to find the best prices and terms for everything you buy.
From Buyer to Seller
It’s also interesting to note how easy it has become for buyers to become sellers. With sites like eBay and Amazon, anybody can become a seller with a little intuition and effort. This rise of third-party marketplaces has given other buyers the ability to find good deals on used products. It’s just another example of how new technology has changed the consumer mindset.
What the Future Holds
If the past 10 or 15 years are any sign of the future, we’re in for some incredible technological developments in the coming years. It will be interesting to watch how these technologies change an already complex consumer marketplace.