Says to the cashier: “Hang on while I check reviews for this product”. Gets phone, checks amazon: 4 out of 5 stars. Good enough. Purchases product with shoppers waiting in line giving not so friendly looks at this unexpected delay. This has basically become me when confronted with any purchase and I’m fairly certain that I am not the only one doing this. Be it products, services, restaurants, vacation destinations, hotels, you name it there’s now a review for it. Companies like Yelp, Trip Advisor, and others work on the premise of user reviews. Shoppers now have a much wider array of information available to them than ever before to allow them to make smart purchasing decisions.

Dubbed the connected consumer, thanks in large part to the increasing intensity in usage and ownership of mobile phones, buying products or services has become a totally different ball game than what it was just a few short years ago. The statistics are staggering. According to Deloitte’s recent report Global Mobile Consumer Trends, mobile devices are proving to be an indispensable part of everyday life, with 78 percent of all consumers in developed markets checking their smartphone within an hour of waking up. Similarly, 14 percent of emerging market consumers check their phones at least 100 times a day.

The Global Mobile Consumer Trends report, based on the Global Mobile Consumer Survey covering 6 continents, 31 countries, and 49,500 respondents, goes on to state that this connected consumer is here to stay, it will change the way business as we know it is done and that no country is immune to the charm of mobile screens.

These evolving technologies, along with shifting consumer demographics, changing consumer preferences, and economic uncertainty means that consumer product companies’ traditional operating models have become obsolete. This outdated approach being challenged is not all bad however, as it inevitably leads to opportunities for these same companies to innovate both products and services to better meet the demands and wants of today’s consumers.

As 2020 approaches, with companies in the Middle East and globally putting in place new strategies and visions, the already smart consumer will only get smarter. Which will probably mean that the next time I need to buy pretty much anything, a cue will end up forming behind me at the cashier while I check my phone for reviews. Odds are, however, that the cue behind me will have their eyes glued to their smartphones doing the exact same thing I am. Connected consumers? Check. Smarter consumers? Check. Connected smarter consumers? Check check.

To learn more about Deloitte’s global mobile consumer trends, go to:

By Nadine El Hassan, Public relations regional leader, Deloitte Middle East

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