Looking forwards: the future of feedback

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For the last two decades, technology has, year-on-year, developed our customer bases, simplified processes and changed the face of business. The most important step in this process has undoubtedly been the development of e-commerce.

Traditional businesses have tried to compete against online offerings, but the ones that didn’t evolve ended up losing out.

The speed and volume of information available to online businesses is surprising even today. Every electronic movement, mouse click and keystroke a customer makes online, can be broken down in real-time and mapped. This data is constantly used to refine, polish and target buyers again. With this in mind, it won’t come as a surprise that the more you understand your customers, the better you can provide for their wants and needs.

With all the technology advancements happening around us, the largest contributory factor to ‘the future of feedback’ is the realisation of the value that this feedback holds.

And yet I strongly believe that things are about to change.

In 2017, the largest global investor in research and development was Amazon Inc., who were estimated to have spent more than $20 billion. During that same period, they acquired Wholefoods for more than $13 billion and launched their own grocery store brand: AmazonGo.

Without sitting in the Amazon headquarters, it is impossible to speculate on their decision-making processes, but considering they are one of the most data-driven companies in the world, they wouldn’t make such a massive acquisition without a solid plan!

AmazonGo has shown a vision for future customer experiences. It is driven by two business data-driven technologies:

  • Internet of Things (IoT) – Incorporating hardware and software technologies to connect different touchpoints in customer journeys like never before: visualising purchases and eCommerce ‘Funnels’.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) – With an estimated 30 million Alexa powered devices currently active in the US alone, Amazon already understands how AI can interact in real world environments.

Examples are out there to follow. These for me represent the future of feedback; giving real world businesses the ability to understand who their customers are, how they behave and what they feel.