My friend, Andrew Stein (EMBA ‘ 11) has a great post on the premature obituaries for personal computers (PCs). His argument is that PCs complement mobile devices including tablets and smart phones by creating digital content.
Apart from the content provision, there is also another reason that the PC is not dead (at least not yet!). This article in the New York Times suggests that while more consumers are becoming multi-device users when it comes to shopping, they appear to prefer the PC for finalizing the purchase. Shopping consists of three distinct stages: search, evaluate options, and the final purchase. It appears that consumers prefer the smart phone for search processes, tablets for evaluating options and forming a consideration set of plausible alternatives, and PCs for making the final choice. These various devices that consumers use (smart phones, tablets, and PCs) differ in terms of their portability / convenience and screen size and hence they seem to affect the various stages in the buying process differently.
So what does it mean for a firm? Firms need to be customer-centric. They need to provide an “integrated” experience for consumers, irrespective of the device they use to access the company. In other words, the individual customer should be tagged so that provision of synchronized experiences across devices becomes easier. Jason Spero, director of mobile sales and strategy at Google says it best in the NY Times article: “Don’t put mobile in a silo. It’s also about the desktop.”
Professor of Business Administration and
James F. Towey Faculty Fellow and
Executive MBA Academic Director