Consumer Behavior in Mobility and Versatility

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Changes in consumer affect businesses in positive and negative ways. As behavior changes, companies strive to satisfy consumer desires and needs. While some companies are successful at accomplishing these new goals, others are not quite innovative. In a world where consumers want everything here and now, companies, such as Apple and Samsung have succeeded in meeting rapid and escalating consumer changes. This paper will address concepts in consumer behavior variations, such as its demand for mobility and versatility and their negative results against successful companies, such as Dell and Hewlett Packard (HP). Academic institutions are adapting revolutionizing strategies to improve student learning and hands-on experience. Furthermore, buying and selling strategies will be incorporated into current consumer behavior marketing research. Statistical data supporting the decrease in Dell and HP’s revenue will be included. Research from several sources will be utilized to provide several perspectives and angles towards consumer behavior leaning towards mobility and versatility. This current consumer behavior paper will analyze the decrease in computer sales as a result of the emergence of tablets and smartphones by changing consumer actions and preferences towards mobility and versatility.

Computer Sales Decrease as Tablet and Smartphone Sales Increase

It seems like the modern American busy lifestyle has been a brilliant opportunity for the emergence of tablets. As customers shop less for computers, new findings reveal positive consumer satisfaction with the use of tablets. Specifically, consumer reports demonstrated a high level of satisfaction with the ease and quick accessibility to media and entertainment. Fox and ESPN online live streaming capabilities are examples of the service consumers can now experience in a tablet or even a smartphone. An estimated score of 77/100 in the average of mobile satisfaction in August 2013 surpassed the average customer satisfaction score of 67/100, resulting from a similar survey months prior (Snider). Previously, consumers would weigh their options between the use of a computer or a laptop, whereas in modern times computers are no longer even a part of the equation. More than likely, consumers are now weighing their options between tablets like Apple's iPad or mobile smartphone devices. For these reasons, computer and laptop sales have decreased with approximately only 350 million personal computers being sold on a yearly basis, while an estimated amount of 919 million smartphones and 200 million tablets are expected to be sold this year (Snider). The current analysis described the road American consumers are heading towards, as one of personal pleasure and satisfaction.

Consumer Behavior Changes Towards Mobility and Versatility

Consumers are becoming more conscious regarding their expenses. Specifically, consumers are now conducting basic research prior to purchasing an item. The research consists of utilizing an application on a tablet or smartphone to see which store has the best price on a particular item. With the ability tablets have in providing consumers with portability, convenience, and resources, such as applications, users are opting out of computers, as these technological devices do not have the capability of managing applications, yet. Furthermore, tablets have built-in features that eliminate the necessity of a keyboard and mouse. As the American consumer’s lifestyle accelerates, so does the advantages of this modern technological device, as is the tablet. As computers slowly become old technology, the convenience tablets and smartphones offers are unattainable; thus far. Consumer’s constant desire to be connected to the Internet or social media has rapidly increased within only a decade. The cravings of being informed and involved with the latest tweets and Facebook posts can be fulfilled with the constant access to portable devices, such as tablets and smartphones. It is quicker to just pull-out a tablet or smartphone, as opposed to waiting for computer access or for a laptop to take sixty-seconds to load. Consumer’s social skills have diminished. Specifically, the act of speaking to exchange, communicate, and express thoughts has declined; hence, a reflection of consumer changes benefiting tablet and smartphone sales while affecting computer and laptop sales.

The economic crisis has also led to a decrease in computer/laptop purchases, as consumers have purchased technological devices that are more economical than computers, such as tablets. In turn, the convenience of tablets and smartphones including applications that serves the purpose Microsoft Office would fulfill facilitate consumers’ needs to compose documents. A specific audience, such as grade school and college students has adopted new study methods, which have aligned with the tools tablets provide. Examples of these tools are study applications and the ability to download a book and read, highlight, and type notes while using the portable tablet. Hewlett Packard (HP) experienced a decline of 12.1 percent in computer shipments worldwide (Pettey). Another top brand, such as Dell, experienced a decrease in 11.5 percent in the same category (Pettey). A research study published by Berque, Prey, and Reed depicts a reality that might be perceived as more common during modern times (124). Northern Arizona University will provide its students with access to a tablet through five or six core classes throughout the last two undergraduate college years (Berque, Prey, and Reed 124). This will provide its students with better tools while studying subjects like sedimentology, stratigraphy, and petrology (Berque, Prey, and Reed 124). These new changes in methods of teaching and learning this specific audience of consumers have adopted have the mindset of preparing students for the new economy, especially for employment in the fields of geology and environmental science (Berque, Prey, and Reed 124). Although a certain portion of consumer behaviors have changed towards that of less social and more introspectively connected to the Internet and social media, another portion of consumers has increased their strategic behavior with the use of tablets.

Recent research published in 2010 indicates the ubiquitous statistics revealing the human craving to be constantly connected through electronic devices. Specifically, approximately 300 million mobile devices occupy the hands of Americans (Brennan and Schafer). Furthermore, consumer behavior has changed in such a drastic form that people fulfill most of their time by “texting, playing games, checking the weather and sports scores, researching and purchasing products and using social media” (Brennan and Schafer; Vesa 21). The devices that provide the means to accomplish the tasks Americans engage in are ones, such as tablets and smartphones. While computer and laptop devices were exceedingly popular, they can no longer satisfy consumer’s changing behavior. On the other hand, smartphones provide users with instant Internet access. This instant consumer satisfaction has placed smartphones as one of the most essential electronic devices; thus, diverting consumer attention and purchasing decisions away from computer devices. As 91% of Americans possess a mobile device, what used to be an enormous computer market is now decreasing its sales to recapture the American market. With about 630 different wireless electronic devices to select from, the computer market sales are more likely to continue decreasing, as more than 94 percent of the wireless devices include networks and data capability (Brennan and Schafer). The change in human communication has revolutionized the types of modern technological devices to cater to this change in consumer social behavior.

Consumer entertainment behavior has altered devices used entertainment, such as portable DVD players, laptops and computers, and visiting the movie theater. Consequently, consumers utilize tablets to fulfill all of the forms of entertainment. This change in consumer behavior supports the previous idea that tablets fulfill the functions other individual devices offer, with the ability to be portable. Devices such as smartphones and tablets offer its consumer an all-in-one experience. Consumers can now access information, Internet updates, important electronic communications, quick text messaging, picture taking and social media postings all in one device regardless of their location, as long as it has Wi-Fi access, which is now a complimentary service at several locations, such Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, and the like (Griffin 444). The mobility and versatility are also targeting business consumers, as it offers applications that allow for quick and simple online payment transactions and online business banking. The quicker the service, the more time the consumer has to pursue more business, as time is money.

A research study recently published exemplifies major key marketing strategies that are more likely to lead to business success. In the eight roles of buying-focused selling, Davis details the steps in buying and learning and the consumer response indicators (56). These buying and learning steps can be applied to the computer and laptop industry. In the first steps Davis addresses, the importance of change is imperative in focusing on the consumer’s needs for the success of a product. Specifically, observing changes in the industry, which have been caused by changes in the consumer, is a strong indicator of the types of industries and products that are likely to be left behind. When applying Davis’ eight roles of buying-focused selling to the declination of computer sales across popular brands, it is understood that these successful computer companies are not being overruled by a market who quickly captured and translated consumer’s behavior and current desires in having the technology that will literally accompany at all times while assisting them in solving immediate needs and wants.

The second step to the eight roles of buying focused selling for professionals in the field of marketing is discontent. According to Davis’ research, costumers express their dissatisfaction in negative statements, such as “I wish we could . . ., We can’t . . ., It would be nice if . . .” These examples of consumer’s negativity towards the inability to complete certain tasks is an indication of the cons of the products consumers are referencing. Analyzing this concept and applying it to the enormous success of the tablet and smartphone industry allows for the connection between consumer discontent with the deficiencies of computers and their satisfaction with the mobility and versatility of tablets and smartphones. The success of company’s such as Dell and HP will be based on extensive research and product comparison that would respond to questions of uniqueness and solutions that would yield an increase in sales. While Davis’ study is more oriented towards sales professionals and their connection with certain industries, the guide suggested in Davis’ book serves as a guide in observing and being attentive towards changes and consumer behavior and focusing on developing or enhancing a product to meet such changes.

The control that maintained Dell as such a thriving, successful, and well-known computer brand is hurting its success in the current market. Previously, Dell managed to sell its computers directly to customers; thus, reducing or eliminating retail expenses. While this strategic control demonstrated much success, it is not currently responding to consumer’s new purchasing behavior. More so, consumers are now visiting retail stores in search of the latest products with the latest technological advances, which Dell does not provide (Griffin 579). The company’s ratings in customer satisfaction, have decreased while complaints increased (Griffin 579). More so, Dell’s lack of innovation to meet new consumer behavior changes has continued to impact its sales profit. While assuming that price is the most important factor for consumers, the company has focused on providing customers with more economical products. Nevertheless, Dell is failing to grasp that consumers want technology that provides mobility, versatility, and portability. For these reasons, the tablet and smartphone industry has increasingly overpowered and surpassed computer companies in sales and consumer satisfaction. Dell’s competitors spend more time on the key strategies Davis suggests. Particularly, companies like Apple invests more time in change, discontent, and research. While Dell is four times larger than its competitor, Apple, the latter company has successfully studied Dell’s best strategies while adding ingenuity and creativity to satisfy the current consumer behavior changes.

Conclusion

This current consumer behavior paper analyzed the decrease in computer sales as a result of the emergence of tablets and smartphones by changing consumer actions and preferences towards mobility and versatility. This paper will address concepts in consumer behavior changes, such as its demand for mobility and versatility and their negative results against successful companies, such as Dell and Hewlett Packard (HP). America’s busy lifestyle has accelerated in such a way that what was once surprisingly great technology, such as computers, are now becoming less useful. The importance of buying and selling strategies was discussed, as well as previously published analysis about Dell’s selling strategic controls. Additionally, the new approach towards student’s academic success with the innovative capabilities of tablets was an important inclusion in this paper. Finally, statistical data was incorporated to support findings from several sources of information.

Works Cited

Berque, Dave A., Jane Prey, and Robert H. Reed. "Integrating Emerging Technologies Throughout the Geology Undergraduate Curriculum: Using Tablet PC's Wireless Networks, and Digital Geospatial Data in the Classroom, Lab, and Field." The impact of tablet PCs and pen-based technology on education: vignettes, evaluations, and future directions. West Lafayette, Ind.: Purdue University Press, 2006. 124-125. Print.

Brennan, Bernie, and Lori Schafer. "Mobility." Branded! how retailers engage consumers with social media and mobility. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley, 2010. n. pag. Print.

Davis, Kevin. "The Eight Roles of Buying-Focused Selling." Slow down, sell faster! understand your customer's buying process and maximize your sales. New York: American Management Association, 2011. 56. Print.

Griffin, Ricky W.. "Basic Elements of Control." Fundamentals of management. 6th ed. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning, 2012. 444, 579. Print.

Pettey, Christy. "Gartner says Worldwide PC Shipment Growth was Flat in Second Quarter of 2012." AP Online [Stamford] 26 July 2012, sec. Press Release: Print.

Snider, Mike. "Consumers prefer to entertain mobile devices over PCs." USA Today. Gannett, 6 Aug. 2013. Web. 24 Feb. 2014. <http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/personal/2013/08/06/consumers-prefer-mobile-apps-sites/2622223/>.

Vesa, Jarkko. "Anatomy of the Mobile Service Industry." Mobile services in the networked economy. Hershey PA: IRM Press, 2005. 21. Print.