How Personal and Business Technology Use Intertwine: Introducing New Purchasing

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Vroozi.

As Spend Matters and Vroozi wrote in their jointly produced research paper:

“The technology we will adopt in our personal lives will be a reflection and extension of ourselves and will migrate to our work, even if it is not supported and embraced by employers.

Technology has taken over how we live in ways that we could have never imagined even a decade ago. Our technology now “leads our lives” rather than our lives relying on technology. We consume social, sharing and mobile capabilities in ways that bring us closer to peers, coworkers and even strangers (e.g. Uber) to create new connections and paths. It is a natural path for this technology to follow us to work, which will change how we get our jobs done – even if it is not officially supported or delivered by our employers.”

In our personal lives, we use our mobile devices to make purchases and requests for service; why should this stop when we walk (either physically or virtually) through the doors of our workplace?

New purchasing means shopping for our business needs the same way that we shop for our personal wants.

Think about how you spend your day. Think about how many seemingly mindless, menial tasks you do regularly that are now enhanced by technology. We understand that the majority of these capabilities weren’t even available 5 or 10 years ago. Technology has continuously revolutionized the way we live. It has reinvented the wheel. And technology continues to shape the world of procurement.

As recently as 15 years ago, people relied on landline phones for communication with friends, family and colleagues. People no longer need to be tethered to a wall to place a phone call. Really, you don’t need to be tied to anywhere to communicate with anyone else anywhere in the world. Then again, you don’t even need to use your voice.

We’ve grown much more dependent on technology than we are aware of – or willing to admit. We consume much of our news, not from a newspaper or television, but from the Internet or social media on our computers or mobile devices. Rather than waiting to buy that newspaper, we can read the news as we wait in line to buy a latte.

We read and respond to emails before we even reach the office in the morning. Oftentimes, we haven’t even left our bed.

We use technology to communicate, to focus, to space out and to kill time. We use technology for everything – even purchasing.

In 2014, many retailers experienced record online sales during Thanksgiving/Black Friday weekend. Of course, this action was not limited merely to desktop and laptop computers. According to the Digital Analytics Benchmark data from IBM, over half of all Thanksgiving Day traffic came from a mobile device.

“Americans put down their forks and picked up their mobile devices this year, fueling new online spending records for both Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday,” said GeekWire.

In the United States, the 5-day period from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday often makes up the busiest shopping days on the calendar. But, those busy shopping days don’t always translate to more foot traffic in the physical stores. According to IBM’s benchmark, online sales on Thanksgiving Day were up 14.3% in 2014 in comparison to 2013, while Black Friday online sales rose 9.5%. However, the real point of interest is that – for the first time – mobile device traffic surpassed traditional PC traffic. With 52.1% of all online traffic coming from mobile devices, mobile sales figures also rose by more than a quarter on both Thanksgiving Day (25.4%) and Cyber Monday (28.2%).

If any of this information is surprising to you, it really shouldn’t be. With all of our activity trending both digital and mobile, of course, procurement activity – both personal and for the enterprise – would follow the same path.

New purchasing is about bringing your personal mobile habits into the workplace. It is about acknowledging that our personal technology use leads our business technology behavior.

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