The death of tangibility
One of the most visible changes in recent years has been the advance of digitalization in almost all the daily aspects of our lives. We use less and less cash, we prefer on-demand platforms rather than cable TV, and buying in a physical store is no longer so common.
How far will we go with these trends? Regarding payments, the world has been moving towards the disuse of cash. As a consequence of the pandemic, the increase in cashless and contactless payment alternatives has even spread to regions such as Latin America, where digital payments were not nearly the most popular.
In Argentina, for example, it is estimated that by 2025 banknotes will no longer be the most widely used method. On the other hand, it is projected that within 3 years only 21.7% of transactions will use cash.
The same goes for the world of entertainment. In the United States, the number of people who have cut their cable subscription (or never had a subscription) has tripled in the last 7 years, going from 15.6 million to 50.4 million in 2021.
As for purchases, we have already seen how the e-commerce “boom” was consolidated with the pandemic. In 2021, global e-commerce sales will account for about 20% of all global retail sales, according to Statista. In Latin America, e-commerce increased its penetration from 45% in March 2020 to 83% in November 2020, according to a MasterCard report.
Digital environment, human experience
According to Pablo Boczkowski and Eugenia Mitchelstein, authors of the book The Digital Environment: How we Live, Learn, Work, and Play Now published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the digitization of everyday life is a process that has been going on for decades.
The researchers analyze the interface with screens in daily life and argue that, when we refer to “digital”, we are not just talking about some of the devices with which we interact. But rather we are talking about an environment in which we live in continuity with the physical environment and that is becoming more and more central.
“We look at the mobile during family dinner. We monitor reactions and comments to our social media posts while we are in the classroom, at work, and even in social gatherings. We watch entire seasons of our favorite series on Netflix in a few days, even if that leads us to sleep too late and wake up exhausted the next morning”, they synthesize.
This widespread digital switchover contributes to the new phenomenon of data proliferation. In the past, a person subscribed to cable TV service, but little was known about their use. Today it is technically possible to be “in the mind” of the consumer: we can know what series they watch, when and where they do it, at what precise moment they lose interest; we can learn what items of our store they are interested in and what encourages them to abandon the purchase process.
This is key for companies that want to obtain much more precise insights to help them improve the customer experience and generate loyalty strategies through personalized offers. But, more importantly, it is central to improve all the digital experience from the point of view of usability and service.
What does this mean? People moving from the physical to the digital world hope to replicate the best of human interaction in their virtual experiences. They demand digital products they interface with to be user friendly, intuitive, and easy to interact. For this reason, it is key to be able to understand their needs and motivations through the analysis of their behaviors and purchase processes.
Thus, digitization presents a great challenge. Offering an empathetic and integrated experience, when customers expect human and personalized treatment from platforms, requires solid foundations in terms of data.
That’s why Data Management services that processes, classifies and organizes the data are central. A complete Data Management platform such as Conciliac EDM allows companies to automate data management processes, save costs, anticipate and avoid risks, and centralize data management to make decisions based on true data.
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