Technology has seeped into almost every aspect of our daily lives, and the service sector is no exception. From ordering food to booking a ride, technology has made our lives more convenient in countless ways, and it continues to do so.
So, read on as we explore six new ways technology is shaking up the service sector even further, bringing unprecedented changes and enhancements that we never could have imagined.
- CTV Advertising
Remember how streaming platforms were supposed to be the cable killer because they had no ads? Well, you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain. Let us introduce Connected TV (CTV) advertising: the commercials of the digital age.
CTV advertisements are shown within streaming content, such as TV shows, movies, news programming, sports, and more. But what makes these ads so much better than traditional TV ads? Well, for starters, they allow a much larger reach. These ads are not limited to TV screens; they can be displayed on phones, tablets, computers, and even gaming consoles. The flexibility in where and how ads are shown ensures that advertisers can reach their target demographic no matter how they engage with content. Twitch alone boasts 31 million daily active users.
One of the standout features of CTV advertising is its highly targeted approach. These ads are tailored to specific audiences, meaning they’re only shown to people who are more likely to become customers. This level of precision ensures that marketing budgets are used efficiently, maximizing the impact of each advertisement.
- Hyper-Personalized Experiences
Ever notice how Netflix recommends shows you actually want to watch? Or how your Spotify Discover Weekly playlist is filled with obscure songs that match your music taste perfectly? That’s the magic of personalized experiences driven by technology. Companies nowadays utilize complex algorithms to customize their services to fit your unique preferences.
Take Starbucks, for example. It utilizes real-time data to send users exclusive offers that align with their preferences, activities, and past purchases. With over 400,000 possible variations of hyper-personalized messages, coffee aficionados always feel that every communication with Starbucks is tailor-made for them.
Technology has even made its mark at point-of-sale kiosks. Tablets installed at checkout counters are equipped with the ability to scan a customer’s physical expressions and the items in their cart. This data is then harnessed to make product recommendations that enhance their shopping journey. For instance, if you have birthday candles and balloons in your cart — these smart kiosks would cleverly suggest matching birthday hats or party poppers.
- Augmented Reality
AR is not limited to Pokémon Go and Snapchat filters; it’s making substantial waves in the service sector. More and more brands are embracing AR technology to revolutionize how users browse and interact with products.
For example, Ray-Ban has introduced an AR try-on feature on its website that takes the guesswork out of choosing the perfect pair of eyeglasses. An algorithm scans your face shape, recommends frames that best complement your features, and lets you virtually try them on from the comfort of your home.
Another remarkable example of AR’s transformative power is Audi City. Audi embraced AR and multi-touch tables to turn the concept of a car dealership into something as compact as a boutique. Here, potential buyers could effortlessly select their preferred options and colors and then conjure up a life-sized image of their chosen Audi on the showroom wall. They could rotate and explore it from every angle, peer under the hood and chassis, and even hear how the car’s engine would sound. The outcome of this immersive experience? A staggering 70% increase in unit sales. Astonishingly, 65% of these buyers made a purchase without even opting for a test drive.
How we work is changing, and technology is at the forefront of this evolution. As the traditional “job” mindset gives way to a more agile “gig” mindset, freelancing platforms and remote work tools are pivotal in reshaping the employment landscape.
Platforms like Fiverr and Upwork seamlessly connect job seekers with opportunities and employers worldwide. Someone in New York can collaborate with a graphic designer in Mumbai or a content writer in London, all without leaving the comfort of their workspace. This democratization of work has empowered individuals to provide their skills and services to a global clientele.
And these platforms help level the playing field between individuals and large-scale firms. People requiring services can now explore online platforms where profiles of capable individuals are brimming with creative portfolios and competitive rates. These platforms allow everyone to showcase their talents and compete on their merits.
- Contactless Payments
Stroll into a store, grab that hoodie you’ve been eyeing, and tap your card or phone when it’s time to settle the bill. That’s it—no swiping, signing, or fishing for coins. Contactless payment systems, like
Apple Pay and Google Wallet let you make purchases with a simple tap of your phone or card. Apple Pay is accepted by over 85% of American retailers and is usable in 27 countries.
- Human-less Solutions
Technology is gradually taking over the mundane tasks humans once had to shoulder. Remember when the idea of self-driving cars felt like science fiction? Well, the future has indeed arrived. Uber and Waymo have teamed up to introduce driverless cars onto the Uber app. With this innovation, riders can ride in an Uber without needing a human driver. They can follow their route on the screen, curate their playlist, and control the car’s climate settings without engaging with a human driver. Although limited to San Francisco and Los Angeles, the service is expected to be available in more areas in the next few years.
Many retail stores are also implementing the idea of cashier-less checkouts. Shoppers can scan their items and complete the payment process independently, streamlining the shopping experience and reducing the need for human cashiers.
Even the realm of fast food and dining is experiencing technological marvels. AI-powered drive-thrus are being experimented with in restaurants like Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s, and Del Taco. These intelligent systems take orders and process payments without needing human attendants. McDonald’s has ventured into fully automated restaurants, with its first workerless establishment in Texas.
Technology is rapidly penetrating and transforming the service sector, making our lives more convenient, efficient, and enjoyable. From hyper-personalized experiences to AI-powered solutions, it’s clear that technology is here to stay. So, let’s embrace these incredible changes and see where the next wave of technology takes us.