Today we are experiencing the challenges of an impersonal connected lifestyle, while mobile and at home. The amount of services, apps, brands and situations from which people have to choose is vast, and will continue to expand in the near future. This can make it difficult for consumers to decide which types of solutions they want, how they access them and who provides them. While the current connected lifestyle is impassive, complex and constantly growing, future innovations can simplify choice for the consumer.
Connected lifestyle solutions need to offer control and reduce complexity. Aggregated solutions could help consumers to get a better overview of content in one place and find what they need faster. These solutions could also gather several services in one place, centralizing interactions. This means there are opportunities for new offerings and leaders to enter the market. The connected landscape is evolving, and the time is ripe for building new, improved and holistic services that address consumer needs.
What We’ve Come To Expect
Consumers expect new innovative digital solutions to integrate with their lives. They will be looking for tailored experiences and personalized services per their needs. The desire for a seamless experience — independent of context, location and device — will encourage the use of the Cloud and drive the need for constant connectivity.
Users want a simple, personalized and continuous experience throughout the day. Managing many services, keeping track of passwords and overlapping content are barriers to a seamless experience.
Being able to engage and interact with their immediate environments, access and receive content in any location, and set their own schedules are increasingly important expectations. Personalization based not only on behavior and preferences, but also time and place, will make for a truly customized experience. Services such as smart notifications, contextual suggestions in real time, and virtual reality will allow people to interact in new ways.
Reducing complexity and offering control to Internet access is the basis for all digital services. Consumers are asking for services that aggregate daily activities into one place. This will simplify discovery of, and access to, different media content. Again, consumers see the benefit of maximizing value for a central lifestyle solution. Another benefit identified by consumers is a parental control feature, which will ensure younger family members only have access to appropriate content. Furthermore, having a cloud-based service will allow consumers to access all their content on any device.
Where We’re Headed
New consumer needs force players in the connected landscape to look beyond their existing offerings, with a focus on a holistic experience and aggregated solutions. Consumers who pay for digital services are regularly more motivated by new offerings, from which some service providers stand to capitalize.
The need for personal, data-centric customer care cannot be overstated. Since customization is increasingly important in connected lifestyles, when applied in a user-friendly manner, it can act as a differentiator. At the same time, respecting consumers’ privacy is vital when building solutions tailored towards their needs, behaviors, preferences, and location and time.
Joseph Santos is chief digital and marketing officer of SmartBeings, an IoT start-up focused on the personalized connected lifestyle.