We often associate Big data and Analytics with modern decision making systems. These kinds of systems are the decision influencing juggernauts, procession millions of rows of data to display correlations and trends that would otherwise be imperceptible to the naked eye.
It is little wonder that these systems come straight to mind when we discuss the role of technology in business decisions.
But technology has played a much more powerful (and subjective) role in decision making for the past 15 years. Businesses online live and die by client perception, 24x7 browsing availability and branding.
Case in point
Consider this; when you are in a real life (physical) shopping centre you may have limited choices in the number of stores that sell your chosen product. So sometimes shopfront flaws are tolerated because it’s inconvenient to travel somewhere else for the same product.
The online world is far more aggressive. If a visitor is not happy with any aspect of the site, they leave. There are dozens, if not hundreds of alternatives just a click away so there is no room for even the slightest doubt or concern in the consumer’s mind.
Yes, big data is extremely influential. But the decisions that are most commonly influenced by technology are not the board room strategy presentations. But rather, the humble public website – the 250 million active websites around the world that are relentlessly asserting influence on consumer choice and spending.
Emarketer reports that ecommerce purchases in 2016 will account for 7.4% of the global retail trade. That’s a whopping $1.888 trillion.
But we argue that money is a fraction of the real influence asserted by technology. A local consumer review survey by Search Engine Land showed that 88% of consumers had read reviews to determine the quality of a local business. 39% of consumers do so on a regular basis.
The greatest influencers
According to Alexa.com, Google, Youtube, Facebook, Baidu and Yahoo are the most popular sites in the world. These are all sites that touched the right chord with visitors and flourished as a result. It is an incredibly powerful thing to present well online. And there is little doubt that the sites presented above could be considered highly influential in the consumer world.
Other tools that enhance decision making and are related to an online presence are surveys, forums, social accounts and feedback forms. All brutally honest forms of feedback that is otherwise not possible in a more subdued and polite physical reality.
You may also be interested inThe role of Information Technology in Business
How Will Netflix Change the Way DTH Business Works?