In 1964, at World’s Fair in New York, Olivetti unveiled the Programma 101. It was the first computer of its kind, about the size of a typewriter. The Italian-born “desktop personal computer” was available to consumers the following year for a measly $3,200. Since then, the proliferation of the ‘pc’ made it’s way into NASA’s Apollo 11 mission, ABC’s 1969 presidential election predictions, and helped the U.S. military plan operations in Vietnam.
The last forty years, personal computers evolved from heavy corporate usage, to home computers, and more recently to personal smartphones. Every iteration; technology became more friendly to work with, more powerful, and ultimately – more intimate with end users. In 2014, mobile device usage is a considerable driver of commerce and new technologies. Shoppers are pushing retailers to keep up with demands, asking for hyper-relevant omni channel experiences and device agnostic websites.
At eTail West, Nicholas Franchet, Head of Retail and E-commerce, Global Vertical Marketing at Facebook was quoted on Twitter saying, “The future of shopping is personalized discovery.”
“The future of SHOPPING is PERSONALIZED DISCOVERY”.
Wow, a spot-on insight to the trajectory of the relationship between personal computers and consumers. I’m betting the possibility of purchasing tennis shoes on Amazon with a smartphone and having it delivered via drone wasn’t on Olivetti’s radar when this was conceived. Still, the ‘personal computer’ is fulfilling its self-titled destiny.
Technology Affects Customer Service
This year, some 74% of business leaders say their company has a digital strategy while only 15% believe that their company has the ability to act on those plans. By those numbers, just over 10% of companies are truly adopting digital into their business model, leaving consumers limited options to interact with online. Since the beginning of 2012, personal computer sales worldwide fell 14% year-over-year. While both, tablet and mobile device sales continue to rise, changing how the consumer shops and interacts with retailers. This shift will make or break businesses.
Customer service in 2014 is far more than a 24×7 call center or a speedy return policy; consumers want personal communication and DIY services online. As devices have crept closer to the consumers daily lives, the expectation of what these devices deliver experience-wise has shifted as well. Retailers without technical tools to help online customers will feel revenues tighten now that shoppers are buying the experience, not just a product.