New technologies are coming at us from all angles now: the devices, download speeds, and the unbelievably helpful integration of data sources into our daily lives. Since money is the force that seems to drive most of our societal innovations, it’s no surprise that many of today’s newest technologies are beginning to alter the way we purchase nearly everything.
Consider the following four ways that new technologies are changing how we buy everything.
1. Reviews are guiding us
An overwhelming majority of online consumers are now very aware (and even dependent on) customer reviews for products that they are looking to purchase. With the advent of smartphones, this traffic has been taken to an entirely new level.
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Millions of people call up and study product information from their phones while they’re shopping in retail outlets in person. And many of them make use of the next innovation.
2. UPC scanners
UPC barcodes are now applied to nearly every product on the retail market, and smartphones can scan these codes in order to do comparison searches online. As a result, a variety of barcode scanner apps have emerged, and their usage can range from simply looking up customer reviews, to comparing prices of the same product online and offline.
Purchasing power has never been greater if you’re a smartphone-armed shopper!
It’s not quite here yet, but it will be soon. With the advent of smart appliances that are connected to the Web as well as to our favorite shopping sites, it’ll soon be possible for your refrigerator to know when you’re about to run out of an item you love to keep in stock. Better than that, it will automatically order more of that item to arrive the day you’re projected to run out of it.
In other words, our shopping will be predictive and automated!
4. No more wasting money on the middlemen
Before Internet use was widespread, the only way to find out about (and purchase) many common products such as insurance and stock investments was to use a semi-expert intermediary (known as “the middleman”), who would sell you the products at a higher rate than he or she acquired them.
Those days are nearly over. Not only can you buy factory direct for most of the items you’d typically purchase for your home and office, but you can also buy directly from the providers of financial products.
And this isn’t just the case in the United States, either: You can compare Australian life insurance if you wish. The Internet has made this phenomenon is a global one, and it’s clearly here to stay.