Skip to Main Content

The rise of the faceless consumer in an app-ocalyptic world

Posted by Anna Ouseley-Giraldo on 22nd October 2018

Let’s examine the way we start our day. We wake up to the sounds of an alarm that has been set on our smartphone, which holds a safe and secure seat within arm’s reach of the bed. Bleary-eyed, we are a divided nation between those of us who hit the ‘snooze’ for the extra shut eye, and the go-getters who are ready to face the day once the alarm bells have tolled. Once we are awake, how many of us reach for the phone and click and scroll on social media, or check emails? This need for immediacy has created a tech-savvy consumer that relies on the speedy deliverables of mobile apps.

Is tech the future of the consumer market and what does this say about consumer habits?

Mobile’s influence on shopping behaviour has been on the rise since the advent of the smartphone, but recent data indicates consumers are becoming more comfortable finalising transactions on their phones through apps. The consumer is becoming an impulse purchaser, who can download and access a variety of apps and portals by touching their phone or through advanced facial recognition. It has even been used by police forces around the world, including the Met in London and the Leicestershire police, who are trialling a facial recognition software that has been developed by Japanese tech company NEC.

A survey by Forrester’s 2018 Retail Best Practices: Mobile Web study found that smartphone apps will be used in over one-third — or more than $1 trillion — of total U.S. retail sales at some point in the process of buying something in 2018, including research, price comparisons and purchases.

Additionally, Statista predict that by 2022, the total number of apps downloaded worldwide will exceed 258.2 billion. Consumers are adapting to the speed and streamlined approach to browsing and purchasing that apps and online shopping provides. The complicated and lengthly procedure of high street shopping appears archaic and disappointing when we can purchase anything we need with the tap of our fingers.

However, creating an app is not where the success in a business’ profile lies. An article in AdWeek stated that 73 percent of consumers will switch from a poorly designed mobile site or app to an alternative mobile site that makes purchasing easier. And two-thirds of smartphone users are more likely to purchase from brands whose mobile sites or apps personalise the experience based on their location, such as displaying a nearby store where a product is in stock.

Clearly it is no longer enough to merely have an app or online presence in order to be successful. A business needs to understand the consumer and provide them with personalisation that is often void from online websites or apps to garner sales in brick and mortar stores too.

In short, the consumer landscape is changing and evolving as rapidly as the tech-app market. With people using as many as 10 apps a day, we have evolved as consumers to a more streamlined shopping system. In order for businesses and their ilk to keep their heads above water they must adapt to the demands of this app-ocalyptic world.