When technology advances, more often than not, its first application is designed to make our lives easier. As consumers and providers alike, the new wave of technology is no different. In this digital age, the advancements seen in phone and digital technology have allowed businesses to take their brands to a whole new level. Whether that means using touch screen kiosks to speed up the lines at checkout or using a presence on a social media site to connect personally with the consumer, this new technological age has brought about serious change in the way we do business.
Dining Reservations Can Be Made Online
Nowadays, you can buy just about anything online if you know where to look for it. Just about any store you can find in a mall will have an online store where you can buy just about anything they sell (sometimes, even online exclusives). Restaurants have gotten into the habit of utilizing the internet, as well, in the form of online reservations or even online ordering. If you’re looking for delivery, you can search places like GrubHub, which allows customers to order their food for delivery or pick up all online without having to pick up the phone. Reservations are also made easier, thanks to sites such as OpenTable or on the specific restaurant’s website.
Self-Checkout Making Queue Times Shorter
No matter how far we get into the digital age, it doesn’t seem like we’ll ever be able to fully do away with waiting in line at checkout. Fortunately, however, steps have been taken to speed up the checkout process. Originating in supermarkets, touch screen kiosks have been set up in place of cash registers, allowing the customer to scan their items, bag them, and pay for them all by themselves. The trend has grown over the past few years, expanding to stores such as CVS Pharmacy and other chains. Some stores, like Apple, have even gone as far as to utilize smart phone app technology to turn handheld devices into walking cash registers, allowing employees to check out customers right where they stand.
Movie and Event Tickets Scanned From Your Smartphone
Expanding on the advances in smart phone app technologies, you may never have to have a print out of your movie, concert, or sporting event tickets ever again. Now, barcodes can be scanned right off your smart phone, making your own phone the ticket. As long as you have your phone, you won’t have to worry about losing your tickets ever again. Advances in this technology have even been extended by some airlines, to where your boarding pass can be registered with a simple scan of your smart phone , making the check-in process at the airport that much easier.
Social Networking Brings Businesses and Customers Closer Together
Not long ago, an Internet presence for a company was a mere blip on the business model radar for any major company. In today’s landscape, it’s not only important to have a company website; an active presence in the social media realm can set certain companies above their competitors. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have brought the two sides of business, customer and provider, together like never before. This is now a key component of any company’s marketing plan, as it promotes customer loyalty as well as the building of customer relationships.
Competitive business seems to bring about many advancements in technology. With the constant need to separate themselves from the rest of the pack, it won’t be long before we are talking about the next big way companies are using technology to their advantage.
Mike Lawn is an entrepreneur and technology enthusiast who loves blogging about the effect of technology on business.