Editor in chief
If you watch much television, I’m sure you’ve seen the Doino’s commercial featuring actors Eva Longoria, Sarah Hyland and Clark Gregg, along with pro football player Richard Sherman. In the commercial, they debate the best way to order pizza. Longoria uses her smart TV, Hyland sends a text message with a pizza emoji, Gregg uses his smart watch and Sherman orders through Twitter. Domino’s seems to have all communication channels and devices covered, except for its website and the desktop computer.
Smart Insights, a consulting company that helps marketers and businesses with their digital marketing strategies, compiled data and articles from several sources about mobile devices vs. desktop computer ownership and usage rates. According to most of its sources, mid-2014 was the mobile tipping point-the time when mobile devices overtook desktop computers as the device of choice for consuming digital media. In July 2015, time spent consuming media via a mobile device in the U.S. was 51 percent compared to 42 percent for desktop computers, according to Smart Insights’ website.
I was surprised by this statistic when I considered the time many in the U.S. workforce spend at computers. When I consider my kids, who are in their 20s, however, it makes sense. As members of the Millennial Generation, they consume almost all their information via their smart phones. One of my daughters doesn’t even have Internet service at home; she does have Netflix, however. Millennials are comfortable with using their mobile devices to connect to most everything. They expect to pay their bills, do their banking (including deposits), make appointments, watch videos and order dinner with their smart phones and tablets, or even with their smart TVs and gaming consoles. Personal computers are losing out to mobile devices not only with the Millennial Generation, but with Generation Xers and even Baby Boomers.
The opportunities we’ll have via our mobile devices are infinite. The speed at which technology and imagination are creating these opportunities, however, challenges many businesses, including utilities. Customers who can order pizza via Twitter will expect their electricity providers to allow them to order their service, pay their bills, adjust their thermostats and lights and who knows what else through mobile apps, Twitter and other channels via their smart watch, smart phone, smart TV or gaming console. These customers won’t be happy if they must login to their desktop (or laptop) computers and navigate a website to manage their business. They won’t be happy when they discover the mobile device services and apps they expect are not available now.
Customers don’t understand or care how difficult or complex it might be for utilities to accommodate their expectations. They just understand that if Domino’s can do it, their electricity provider should be able to do it, too. The bar is set high.