Brave new tech world: Shoppers want it all and soon

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We’ll all be using augmented reality (AR) and Bitcoin to buy products by 2020. Really? Well, that’s what some people in a 1,000-plus-person survey of UK consumers seem to think.

Not that the numbers were that huge but they were big enough to take note of. So, by 2020, 20% expect to see contactless digital payments extending from their current form to take in digital currencies like Bitcoin, 16% expect to be able to download products and 3D print them, 15% would like to use AR to try before they buy and 14% are hoping drone deliveries can get off the ground (pun intended).

So just who are these digital optimists? Infomentum’s new Beyond Digital, What’s Next for Businesses in 2020 report spoke to a sample of office workers, those permanently connected individuals collectively (and annoyingly) referred to as Generation C.

What the survey found is a quantifiable level of expectation that technology would continue to impact their work lives and their shopping lives in a relatively short time frame.

What it also found is that for the present, we’re all online a lot, we expect a good experience at the very least and if we don’t get it we’ll bitch endlessly on social media.

The report revealed that 83% of those Infomentum spoke to use smartphones to access the internet, 75% use laptops (but for less than five hours a day) and 65% use tablets. The dear old desktop computer doesn’t even seem to get a look-in.

Of course, what those figures don’t tell us is the kind of browsing they’re doing. But while the chances a lot of smartphone browsing sessions are as much about on-the-spot research as serious buying, the fact that this research was done largely to look at people’s working lives shows just how far the smartphone has come. The fact is, a lot of people are using their phones for business-related browsing too.

Retail dilemmas

When we’re researching online, we’re often looking not at retailer sites but at free content sites and that’s where retailers often try to reach potential customers with banner ads. But one thing we don’t want to see when we’re browsing content is… yes, you guessed it, banner ads. The number objecting to such ads is increasing and now stands at 62%.

The report also offered up are some scary (and enlightening) figures for those retailers not getting the online experience right.

  • 77% of people would leave a website immediately if they struggle to access it
  • 89% will talk about negative experiencesmon social media, although 96% would share positive experiences
  • 55% don’t bother speaking to customer service staff if they have problems
  • 76% say clear navigation is a key web feature
  • 60% are impressed by overall speed and loading times (so anyone with very ‘heavy’ pages should be thinking twice there)
  • 51% are impressed by effective search functionality

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