There is no doubt about it; the age of CRM has changed business processes for the better.

While CRM programs are capable of achieving everything from driving internal collaboration to improving the efficiency of task management, however, the primary value that they offer lies in the field of marketing.

Analytical CRM programs in particular enable brands to profile specific consumer demographics, providing the foundation for targeted campaigns that deliver an optimised ROI. The value of this cannot be understated, especially in competitive markets where the margins between success and failure are minimal.

The Technology Trends that will influence consumer behaviour in the next 10 years

Such software is now more important than ever before, especially as technology continues to advance at a rapid and relentless pace. With innovation particularly impactful on the way in which customers consume data and interact with brands, businesses must keep pace if they are to retain their relevance and a viable market share.

With this in mind, what are the main technology trends that will influence consumer behaviour in the next decade? Consider the following: –

Mobile Contactless payments will outstrip cash by 2025

Let’s face facts; the rise of contactless payment is old news. As long ago as 2014, for example, retailers reported that the value of spending through contactless payments had more than trebled year-on-year.

Despite this, cash has undoubtedly remained king, although this may be set to change over the course of the next decade. With the convenience offered by contactless payments increasingly appealing to customers, it has been estimated that the value of this method of spending will ultimately outstrip cash by the year 2025. Contactless payments include Apple and Android Pay, which are also set to become increasingly prominent during this time.

In fact, the report claims that up to 65% of all contactless payments will be made by mobile in 10 years’ time, simultaneously highlighting the growing popularity of m-commerce. Clearly, refinements to this technology will allow for more seamless and secure payments in the future, increasing the value proposition of contactless to multiple consumer demographics.

As a business-owner, you must therefore be prepared for this trend and adapt your payment infrastructure in response. More specifically, all retail outlets must be equipped to process contactless payments, including those made with both debit cards and mobile tools such as Apple Pay. Without this, you are sure to lose custom and market share to more progressive competitors.

Consumers will continue to migrate from Television to Online Video

If you were only to glance at television viewership figures, you would see that this traditional medium remains dominant over online streaming platforms and videos on demand (VODs). You would see the rate at which TV audience figures are declining, however, while online viewership continues to grow exponentially.

This is also a trend that impacts on all age demographics, particularly younger segments aged between 15 and 34. These demographics have helped to ensure that digital and online viewing now accounts for 10% of total consumption, while further statistics reveal that the average time spent watching videos will rise globally to one hour per day in the future (with more than half of these on a mobile device).

Although this trend is primarily associated with television and media streaming through sites such as Netflix, it has huge connotations for business-owners too. More specifically, it suggests that investing in standard television advertising and prime time, fixed schedule slots no longer offers the ROI that it used to. In fact, it is far more cost-effective (and ultimately profitable) to create succinct and interactive VODs that are published through designated online channels like YouTube and Vimeo.

This type of advertising is charged at a fixed cost per 1000 views, while it can afford you access to a motivated, global audience. You can also embed VODs on external sites to share a targeted marketing message, so it will begin to represent a viable investment over the course of the next decade.

Customers will becoming increasingly active through social media channels

According to eMarketer, the total number of social media users was recorded at 1.47 billion back in 2012, with an increasing percentage of these being consumers who used specific channels to reference products, interact with brands and raise complaints.

Incredibly, this number is set to rise to a staggering 2.55 billion by the end of 2017, as businesses become increasingly active across an integrated social platform in a bid look to drive consumer interaction while responding to real-time queries. It is crucial that your business follows this trend, especially if you aim to optimise your reach and thrive in an increasingly ‘live’ marketplace. The rise of social media is undoubtedly having a core influence on consumer buying patterns and expectations of brands, and this will only gather further momentum in the future.

To begin to capitalise on this trend, be sure to integrate your customer service platform with social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook, while also ensuring that consumers can access product or service information through these mediums. It is also worth hosting regular Q and A sessions with customers through Twitter, as you begin to base your marketing campaigns on insight and real-time interaction.