As technology becomes more and more integrated into our lives, the companies that will thrive are those who consistently innovate by using new technologies. In an increasingly competitive landscape, companies that are stuck in their ways and not up-to-date with available technology will quickly get left behind.
The fact is, if you’re not using new technologies to help solve your business’ pain points, you’re missing opportunities to generate more revenue, help your employees and satisfy customer needs. Technology is nothing to be feared. It’s something that needs to be understood, embraced, and applied to elevate your business.
Let’s take a look at what holds companies back from using new technology, some of the innovative technologies you can leverage for success, and the key benefits of embracing technology.
In most cases, the companies that trail behind with digital transformation are resistant to change or don’t know where to start. They’re scared of the unknown and haven’t had the opportunity to get educated on what’s available and how it can help them. It’s also common for companies to not have the right talent to execute a digital transformation project even if they have done their research.
When working with clients, we educate them on what technologies are available and the benefits they can bring. We show them how competitors are using technology and that transformation is not only possible but worthwhile. We like to challenge clients to first get out of their comfort zone but then bring them assurance that digital transformation is possible for their business.
It’s also common for companies to not have the right talent to execute a digital transformation project even if they have done their research.
Once companies understand the importance of embracing new technologies, it’s time to pin-point which technologies will suit their business best. Let’s dive into some key technologies companies are using to stay competitive and drive success.
Augmented Reality is a technology that uses mobile apps or web apps to develop a 3D model of an object in a real-world setting. AR initially gained widespread popularity and consumer attention through the gaming world. While augmented reality has been used in gaming for decades, apps like PokemonGo leveraged their brand affinity with technology to turn AR into a global phenomenon. But AR has many possible applications that companies can use to benefit their bottom line. Let's take a look at some examples that highlight the benefits of AR:
Shopify: Through augmented reality, users can preview products and see 360 degree detail, allowing them to make better purchase decisions the first time around. Studies show that 61% of shoppers prefer to make online purchases on sites that offer augmented reality technology. Shopify allows sellers to upload 3D images and videos of their products to their seller page to allow customers to better understand the size, details, and function of the products before buying.
IKEA: E-commerce has undoubtedly made shopping more accessible and more convenient. But despite its popularity, physical stores offer something most digital experiences don't – the ability to try before you buy! People like to see how a car drives or how a sweater feels before making a purchase. Augmented reality allows users that same experience from the comfort of their homes. Ikea developed an AR app called IKEA Place that lets users choose furniture and other items and virtually place them within their home.
GOAT: This shopping app for sneakers allows customers to try on sneakers to see what they look like virtually.
Waste & Utilities: The same technology used by Ikea and GOAT can be implemented cleverly, even for traditionally non-digital industries. Within the waste management sector, some providers now use AR to allow customers to see whether a certain dumpster size will fit in their driveway, parking lot, or wherever they’d like to place it. This saves a lot of time and manpower compared to sending a person out to measure the area and then assigning the correct dumpster.
Home Depot: Augmented reality isn't just limited to the remote shopping experience. Physical stores can harness the same technology to enhance their customers' in-store experience as well. Home Depot's app allows users to check product inventory ahead of time. It couples that technology with wayfinding technology and AR, guiding customers to the exact aisle and location of the product they're looking to purchase.
Virtual Reality takes everyday places or situations and recreates them in a 360-degree experience with the aid of a device, such as a phone or a helmet. The user perceives the experience to be real or physical, even though it is merely digital. As with AR, VR is traditionally known in the gaming space but can be used for many business applications today.
Real estate agencies can now walk around a house with cameras that take 360-degree images to capture the house's layout and then connect everything together to create a full virtual experience. This way, customers can click from hotspot to hotspot to see the full indoor rendering of a house without physically visiting the location.
The popular food chain took out several commercials during the Grammy's that led users to a website called Cows VR. The VR experience allowed users to hang out with cows doing not-so-typical cow things, which gained immediate traction. This creative way to grab attention got just under 300,000 hits within two weeks of the launch, which led to many new customers and brand awareness.
The Internet of Things describes a collection of digitally connected objects, or "things," that are interrelated and create a network through various technologies like the internet, software, etc. An IoT device is a wifi enabled device that easily interfaces with other connected devices or can operate through voice command.
There are many different applications of IoT, ranging from smart mirrors that show you the weather forecast, your unread messages, and your calendar while you get ready in the morning. To beacons in shops that send notifications to customers who have the store app on their phone as they walk by. IoT devices bring many benefits to users and companies that deploy them.
We'd put money down that a good portion of people reading this article has a voice-activated device like Alexa or some other connected device in their home. If not, you've undoubtedly heard of it and know its capabilities. The following are some ways in which businesses can use Alexa and other connected devices:
Wearable technology refers to any wearable device with sensors built in that connect to your body and tracks your activity and behavior, such as how many steps you've taken, your heart rate, your sleep patterns, and your other health metrics. The device can trigger alerts when a person with health conditions is experiencing an issue. Data from these devices can be integrated with several supported apps, leading to partnerships and cross-promotion opportunities.
Majestyk worked on an internet-connected smart toy that provided an immersive and interactive learning experience for children. The product, known as CogniToys, centered around technology that allowed toys to listen, speak, and simultaneously evolve, learn, and grow with a child. We developed a full ecosystem of interconnected digital touchpoints that included a physical toy, a companion app to onboard and manage settings, a consumer e-commerce experience, and even a web based parent panel. The parent panel gave parents the ability to see how their child was interacting with CogniToys, the educational content they were consuming, and high-level analytics.
Beacons are small Bluetooth radio transmitters that transmit a signal that other devices can see. The signal that they emit isn't visible to the naked eye but broadcasts a radio signal that is made up of a combination of letters and numbers. A Bluetooth-equipped device like an iPhone, Android, or any smartphone can "see" a beacon once it's in range.
Some retailers with mobile apps will place beacons by their door to send notifications to people that have the app while they walk past to entice them to go in. Beacons can also be deployed for wayfinding and help customers locate a specific product or navigate the store.
Large arenas will use beacons to send push notifications to people sitting or walking by certain vendors to receive promotions or coupons.
We've provided a small sample of innovative technologies and examples of how brands are utilizing them. But in truth, we've only just grazed the surface! There are endless possibilities for tailoring and implementing technology into your own business to increase conversions and sales.
With AR and VR, customers get the chance to virtually try on a product before purchasing, which leads to greater confidence in the purchase. IoT devices such as Amazon Alexa make purchasing products a seamless experience, and we all know that convenience is king. Beacons also support increased sales by sending offers to people or directing them to enter a store when they may not have initially planned on it.
Another key benefit of using new technologies in your business is being able to retain customers and employees. When you can keep customers engaged by consistently grabbing their attention and making the buying process more efficient, they'll likely stay loyal to your brand. For employees, the more that technology can alleviate their daily pain-points, the happier and more productive they'll be.
Through the use of innovative technologies, companies save time and money and attract and retain more customers. Many exciting opportunities await those willing to step out of their comfort zone and dive into digital transformation.
It all starts with thinking through how these new technologies can benefit your business and customers based on your operations' details. If this seems like a challenge and you need some guidance, Majestyk is here to help. We have technologists and UX experts that live and breathe the technologies your business needs to level up.
If you want to learn more about how these technologies can benefit your company, connect with us to continue the conversation!
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