New report produced by consulting firm Accenture suggests firms need to embrace technology and bring it into their customer experience

Consumers have exacting standards these days, and they expect firms to pull out all the stops to impress them. Companies that fail to do this can quickly lose custom to rivals that make more of an effort.

As part of their efforts to win over consumers, businesses must look at the ways in which they utilise technology. The savvy use of equipment such as touch screens, for example, can have a hugely positive impact on customers’ experiences. For example, shops are increasingly using touch screens and digital signage to provide their customers with a more interactive, personalised and convenient experience. 

Of course, embracing systems like these requires some expenditure from companies. However, this can prove to be money well spent if bosses make savvy decisions concerning which technology to adopt and how to use it.

From Digitally Disrupted to Digital Disrupter

In a new report entitled ‘From Digitally Disrupted to Digital Disrupter’, consulting firm Accenture has identified a number of key trends to watch this year. According to the organisation, “big companies are back in the digital game”, with enterprises such as Procter & Gamble, Tesco and Disney seeking to enhance their digital offerings.

One of the trends it pointed to is the so-called ‘digital-physical blur’. About this, Accenture remarked: “The physical world is coming online as objects, devices and machines acquire more digital intelligence. What’s emerging is more than just an ‘Internet of Things’; it’s a new layer of connected intelligence that augments the actions of individuals, automates processes, and incorporates digitally empowered machines into our lives, increasing our insight into and control over the tangible world.

“There are benefits for consumers and businesses. Consumers become better informed and better equipped to influence the ways they experience everything around them. And businesses get real-time connections to the physical world that allow machines as well as employees to act and react faster-and more intelligently.”

Cases in point

It highlighted the examples of Tesco and Staples, which are both experimenting with new ways to enhance customer experiences. Accenture noted they are transforming their in-store technology and service offerings so that they have greater appeal.

For example, Tesco is rolling out face scanning digital signage at 450 of its UK petrol stations. These devices will tailor engaging content to the people who pass through the stations. Meanwhile, Staples is piloting stores that contain less merchandise but more kiosks and meeting spaces for busy small business owners.

A vast new window of opportunity

Accenture added: “As the line between the digital and the physical continues to blur, a vast new window of opportunity is opening for the enterprise. By leveraging and enhancing their physical assets, traditional companies are looking at this opportunity as a way to leapfrog online competitors, create immersive real-world experiences for consumers and gain market share.”

By thinking outside the box and ensuring they make the best possible use of the technology available to them, firms stand to reap considerable rewards. In contrast, those that refuse to ride the digital wave may find that they get left behind.

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