Top 5 Ways Social Media Is Influencing Customer Behavior For Better Sales

Social Media is as important as breakfast and more relevant than the daily news today. It is the primary mode of getting trending news, keeping in touch with friends and finding out the latest fashion or brand offers. The amount of social media consumed by customers can no longer be confined to particular time bracket or days. It’s easily accessible across multiple devices like the desktop, laptop and mobile at all times of the day.
For marketers, there has been no better time to reach out to their prospective customers. With social media, brands and marketers can reach out to them through social ads, regular posts and promotions, offers and latest launches with ease. With this gamut of information, consumer purchase patterns are also changing.

We’ve listed some key points on how social media is affecting consumer behavior and purchase patterns:

1.Being Visible on Your Consumer’s Newsfeed
Brands need to stay relevant on a daily basis and they can do this by taking up a customer’s mindshare. Creating quirky, relevant and important information about the brand through regular social media posts will ensure that the brand post appears on the consumer’s newsfeed.
The key to attract a customer’s attention on social media is to create content and ideas that resonate with them and somewhere connect with them on a personal level. Customers will happily follow a Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest page or like a post if they connect with the content. Moreover, they will actively look forward to future posts by the brand.

2.Building Brand Loyalty Among Your Customers

While initially, brands could communicate to their consumers only through traditional media like hoarding or print and TV ads, this limitation no longer exists. Customers who were earlier just users of the product are now becoming loyalists and brand ambassadors if they resonate with brand ideologies. The ‘like’, ‘share’ and ‘follow’ buttons make it that much easier for brand loyalists to share their love for the brand with their friend list.
3.Customer Feedback is Public for All to See
The customer is much more empowered these days thanks to social media. A bad experience can no longer be pushed under the carpet, brands will have to address the issue and rectify any faults to maintain the trust of their customers.
A quick response to customer grievance will pacify the bad experience and help maintain a long term relationship. Moreover, it will spread positive word-of-mouth among the brand’s community.

4.Speaking to the Right Audience Segment
There are so much data and customer details that social media channels capture, that brands can target their posts and promotions to the relevant segment. This increases the chances of driving traffic to the website and increasing sales.
Catching the relevant audience at the right time benefits both the brand and the customer. Customers do not feel they are being spammed by necessary ads and offers, but rather they look forward to these brands who offer them exactly what they have been searching for.
5.Active Social Listening to Stay Relevant
With so much information available to customers, there is a lot of noise and distraction and it is easy to lose potential customers. Brand owners and marketers must conduct active social listening research to stay ahead of the consumer and predict his interests. These interests need to be matched with new products and content that will relate to him.
Social media relevance is much deeper and integral to a customer behavior patterns than it is ever been. Brands need to continuously assess their social media activity and update it through interactive posts, videos, gifs and other innovative content to achieve customer satisfaction and maintain brand reputation. Many brands have built popular products and achieved business success through their social strategies.

A Simplified Approach to Finding the Right Machine Learning Algorithm

How do you select the right machine learning algorithm to get the most relevant results? With the multitude of algorithms out there, it can be a daunting process. There is a huge repertoire of data as well. Selecting the best algorithm will depend on the quality of the data, the size and nature of this data and the outcome you are expecting from the algorithm. It is a method of trial and error, and even the most experienced data scientists have to experiment before finding the solution.
However, we have identified some steps to simplify the approach to resolving most machine learning problems.

Finding the Right Fit

Your data can be categorized by input or by output. If your data is in a structured format with clearly labeled data, then it can be categorized as a supervised learning problem. Supervised learning algorithms look at past data and make future predictions based on past outcomes. For example, if we want a machine learning algorithm to predict the future price of petrol, then the petrol price of past years, along with supportive date is patterns are studied. This could include city-wise petrol price, political events, geographical events, economic growth, GDP and other related data. Once a pattern is identified, the supervised learning algorithm will use this pattern to predict unlabeled data, in this case, it would be the future price of petrol.

  • Supervised Learning
    Supervised learning can further fall into 3 categories. When existing data is being used to assign the data into groups, then that is called Classification. Two-choice classifications like assigning images as tea or coffee are called binomial classifications and multiple options are called multi-class classification. Regression is when future predictions are based on past information, like in the case of petrol prices. And Anomaly Detection is identifying data patterns that are suspect or unusual. This is done by using existing data as a reference point. Anything different from this pattern will trigger an alarm.
  • Unsupervised Learning
    Data that is unlabeled falls under the unsupervised learning problem category. Also, there’s the reinforcement learning problem which is when you want to optimize an objective function through interactions with the environment.
    In unsupervised learning, data points have no labels associated with them. There is no dependent variable. The data is organized using cluster analysis to find patterns or some relation between unlabeled information. This will help in bringing about some structure to the unorganized data and also to simplify it for better understanding.
  • Reinforcement Learning
    Reinforcement Learning is optimizing a situation by letting the algorithm learn the situation and enabling interaction with the environment. For example, a robot can learn how to play chess by finding patterns of existing data of a chess player’s moves to predict the next move it should take. The algorithm is rewarded when the correct moves are made, based on which the algorithm tries to further improve the results of the next move. Reinforcement learning is commonly used in Robotics and IoT applications.
  • Activate the Algorithms

    Once you’ve categorized the problem, you’ll be able to identify a set of algorithms that can be implemented, using the tools available. Implement all of the algorithms using a machine learning pipeline and carefully identify the evaluation criteria. It will compare the performance of each of the algorithms and the best one will automatically get selected.

A Quick Guide to Digital Transformation for Your Business

Digital Transformation is a complete shift in the way present day business functions are conducted in organizations. The traditional rules of trade, consumerization and market study will no longer hold good. The old processes will have to be rewritten based on new thinking and supported by new technology. Business and operational activities, processes and sales models will incorporate technologies to leverage the digital capabilities and accelerate business growth. This will welcome new age thinking that considers and addresses complex societal problems with the support of new technology.

While digital transformation is currently a hot topic among corporates and business, it also impacts public sector organizations and associations. Digital transformation will help tackle complex challenges like addressing water shortage within cities, pollution, future job prospects and other key factors that impact the economic growth of a country.

1.Chalk out a digital transformation strategy
Businesses must put together a digital transformation strategy to leverage the possibilities that new digital technologies provide them. This strategy will accelerate the business capabilities and create an impact faster for future success.

Digital transformation cannot happen over-night and requires a staged approach with a clear route map that involves various departments of the business. They key is to keep updated with digital innovations and imbibe them in business processes. This will help ensure continued optimization within individual departments and will, in turn, improve the performance of the organization.

2.Let technology fuse with business goals
Digital transformation is not just about the latest technology, but how this technology has a direct impact on business decisions. Digital, now has increased capabilities to identify societal requirements, consumer problems and also actively work towards tackling these issues for an enhanced experience.
Some of the newest technologies like Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, IoT, Augmented Reality (AR) act as enablers of digital change and is one of the main reasons for digital transformation. These applications provide an inside view into customer experience, employee satisfaction, business outcomes, customer feedback among others and have brought digital transformation to the forefront.

3.Develop core capabilities across business functions

For a business to incorporate digital transformation processes smoothly, they must focus on 3 core factors. Firstly, an active awareness of the latest trends and innovations in the market, secondly, taking informed and researched decisions while implementing new processes and thirdly, fast implementation and execution to ensure minimum disturbance to business activities.

Digital business transformation needs to be an integrated activity that brings about an improvement in each of the business functions. The Business Process needs to realign to incorporate newer, innovative processing techniques. Business Activity Centers like marketing, finance, customer care will have to move towards an agile, automated revamp. Workplace employees and channel partner relations can be improved by incorporating more friendly and focused initiatives to ensure satisfaction. Digital transformation will bring about more focus on people and customers by using advanced technology.

A Change in the system calls for digital disruption

Digital disruption takes place when implementing a new business process or system that is different from the rest of the players. This new approach to the way of doing business is usually taken up by tech companies or startups that have an in-depth understanding of business activities. They are able to come up with innovative solutions that cause a change in customer behavior and overall market value, forcing other players to change their business model as well.

A holistic picture

Digital transformation is bound to seep into every industry segment; be it technology, retail, manufacturing, hotel and service, transportation, etc. In the end, it is about the experience of the customer and focuses on future improvements. Digital transformation calls for acting on the insights that digital technologies provide us and making changes to improve the daily lives, business offerings and services of fellow humans.

The Right Approach to Digital Transformation Demands in Customer-Focused IT Field

Traditionally, IT departments have been the quiet back-end team that takes care of software processes. The IT engineers conduct quality-checks, maintain the IT systems, fix bugs and act as a support team for a smooth functioning of all business activities.

However, with the continuous advances in technology, we cannot ignore the value that this team brings in. We can see a quick and active transformation taking place in the way organizations function. The IT department now forms an integral part of important marketing and sales discussions. Inputs from the engineers and developers are required to tweak services and products to improve customer experience. It is time for the IT guys to move into the limelight and this will require adjusting to this culture shift.

We have seen new inventions in digital spaces with modern innovations and cool interfaces. However, many of them have disappeared from the market due to ignoring customer experience and ease of usability. It is time to focus on the customer experience first and then create technology to support it, rather than the other way around.

The New Role of IT in Digital Customer Experience

Business owners and senior management are beginning to understand this change. Hence with the highly competitive digital economy, management is now working closely with technology teams to solve individual customer problems. And they are putting in research and processes for the same. IT systems are being created to improve customer experience rather than that to just meet the needs of internal teams. To stand apart from the competition, customers need to have a compelling experience with the product.

Although customer experience has been the primary responsibility of the marketing team. Now, the IT team will also have an equally influential role to play. The digital customer experience is affected both by the media channels, offers and promotions as well as by the back-end system and user interface. The technical team’s role is going to grow much larger to capture as they can track customer browsing history, website journey, predict new interests and future requirements. These activities will require internal and external data sources and more intricate technical development.

A Makeover for the Office Tech Teams

There is a new-found expectation from the technical teams. The company looks towards them for suggestions and inputs to make changes that could improve the sales, customer experience and lead to much higher business returns. It is time for them to upgrade their skills, abilities and outlook towards their work contribution.

One new area for them to focus would be customer browsing patterns, research of competition in the market and understanding customer grievances. An in-depth study of these new areas will help in creating technology that increases customer engagement and also improves the design and back-end processes.

The easiest way for IT departments to increase understanding of customer interactions is by using their expertise to create technologies that collate and analyze customer data. The information collected will provide a rich source of insights into customer behavior.

The Best Tactics & Tools for Cross-Platform Mobile App Development

Native mobile app development is giving way to cross-platform mobile app development. The market needs are constantly changing and by the end of 2018 more than 50% of mobile apps are expected to be hybrid. Today, 60% of online traffic comes from mobile devices and more that 80% of mobile time is spent on apps. We can expect the number of mobile apps optimized for mobility to grow substantially in the next year.

These studies prove the future doesn’t belong to one mobile platform taking a lion’s share of the market. Rather, we can expect to see a multitude of new entrants in the smartphone OS space. To reach a wider audience base mobile app developers are creating apps that cater to various mobile platforms.

The Changing Scenario of Mobile Apps

With so many apps in the market, it can be cumbersome and expensive for 100% native i0S and android app development. It is becoming increasingly necessary to move to cross-platform development. However, before deciding whether you should make the shift to cross-platform development, do a thorough research to understand the implications, the work involved and effect on the end user.

With so many apps in the market, it can be cumbersome and expensive for 100% native i0S and android app development. It is becoming increasingly necessary to move to cross-platform development. However, before deciding whether you should make the shift to cross-platform development, do a thorough research to understand the implications, the work involved and effect on the end user.

The Benefits of Cross-Platform Mobile App Development

Cross-platform development tools can be credited to 3 markup languages – HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript. We’ve been able to see tremendous technological advances in the mobile world with them. These languages are easy to master and due to their cross-platform abilities, we can overlook the minor disadvantages it has over native languages.

Native apps are much sturdier in comparison. There is a big developer base and toolkits, and faster creation process due to existing codes. However, native apps need dedicated developers for each platform and additional costs of testers and porting. Also, resources are very expensive and hard to retain due to the constant demand.

Cross-platform apps can easily cover these faults in native apps with enhancement of their capabilities. Experts speculate that if HTML5 capabilities are enhanced, we should be able to see the desired results.

Key Tools that are Enabling Cross-Platform Applications

Mobile developers have a list of favorite cross-platform application tools that are helping change the mobile app development scenario. Here’s a list of some of the best tools that developers swear by:

React Native – React Native is the next gen of React which is a JavaScript code library. React Native has a good network of experienced developers and has a quick development process.

Xamarin – Xamarin provides superior software quality with its ability to avoid bugs and reuse code. Platform-specific errors can be decreased to a great extent with the use of this tool.

Appcelerator Titanium – Appcelerator Titanium framework allows the absence of a browser engine which gives enhanced responsiveness and fluidity.

PhoneGap – PhoneGap is a very flexible tool that’s compatible with all the main mobile platforms. Programmers and developers will find this app to be highly user-friendly.

Mobile technology is highly dynamic and evolving at a fast pace to allow newer and sophisticated possibilities. The future lies in using the capabilities of both native and cross-platform app development to ensure maximum benefit for the end user.

Explaining EAFs and Simplifying the Development of M2M Devices

Some high-end Embedded Application Frameworks like Linux, Android and others are highly optimized for M2M application development. Embedded Application Frameworks enable Machine to Machine communication or (M2M) communication. M2M Technology allows users to connect and manage remote devices over the air. A number of industries can benefit from this new technology advancement. Now, users will be able to centrally control remote industrial equipment, track vehicles or cabs, manage cloud services and give consumer devices more competencies. M2M can change the face of the functioning of most industries.

Earlier integrating M2M technologies was a costly and time-consuming affair. The process required system designers to create the entire M2M architecture from start. However, with Embedded Application Frameworks (EAFs), this process has been simplified to a large extent. Developers can now deploy connected services through pre-packaged Real-time Operating Systems (RTOSs) and libraries that are directly embedded into the communications module. This new advancement has halved the time and effort required to develop new M2M hardware. Developers can now focus on creating more innovated and connected applications.

M2M Devices and Its Challenges

To explain simply, M2M technology is used to boost a device or piece of equipment with intelligent services and this device is connected to a back-end software that can monitor and control it. There are two core components required to make this possible – a wireless modem that can communicate with the back-end systems, and a software that runs the services.

Wireless devices have been in the market for many decades now. And these devices were made using easily available hardware components and traditional multichip architecture. The engineers just had to assemble the hardware and software that would then run on a microprocessor with external memory. Early developers had a very limited choice and option to experiment. Prepackaged software market that supported M2M connectivity was yet to be established.

However, M2M technology has a few drawbacks. Developing a device with M2M technology and integrating the infrastructure from scratch is time-consuming, and can take up to a year to go to market. Nowadays, we do not have the liberty of this much time due to competition. Moreover, the operational costs tend to be very high. Especially if there is an in-house team working on the project. Also, in-house development would require heavy investment in an RTOS with full-blown processing power and it’s not used for every M2M application. Lastly, M2M technology required a devoted device developer and their core expertise lies in is not in multichip computing architectures.

Making M2M Communication Intelligent with EAF

Some of the challenges of M2M technology can be corrected with Embedded Application Frameworks (EAF). EAFs can simplify and also reduce the costs of deploying an M2M system. The delivery timeline from planning to final launch, which usually takes one year can be completed in six months. Moreover, deploying software in an EAF eliminates the requirement of a separate RTOS, which saves on a big chunk of heavy investment.

Core Components to Consider in the EAF Model

While integrating the EAF model in M2M devices we must consider a few key core components. Firstly, the app should have a lightweight OS optimized for M2M. The OS should be optimized to allow voice control, data call, messaging and also this will provide direct access to the communications stack.

Another key feature is access to a variety of software libraries and development tools. Libraries will allow functions like GSP connectivity, internet connectivity protocols among others. Development tools will make it easy to code, debug, monitor M2M applications and maintain the backend. Finally, the EAF should have tools for cloud-based management of connected devices to handle device monitoring and software or firmware upgrades.

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