Online shopping is now the norm, with millions of us routinely turning to the internet to buy everything from groceries to our summer holidays.
The emergence of smartphones has undoubtedly helped to fuel this trend. We can browse the online stores of our favourite shops anywhere and everywhere, and retailers are actively optimising their sites so they are easy to use on mobile devices.
According to Dimitrios Tsivrikos, a consumer psychologist at University College London, this has fundamentally affected how we perceive many of our favourite brands.
Speaking to the Telegraph, he noted that mobile phones are typically for socialising, whereas computers are seen as a vehicle for significant chores, such as replying to work emails and filling in tax returns.
As a result, if we engage with brands via our mobiles, we might start to see them in the same way as our friends.
“Using a phone allows us to become closer to the experience of shopping,” Mr Tsivrikos commented.
“The flexibility makes it easier to engage with these retailers, and the trust we have in them improves.”
Another innovation in recent years is the ability to use our phone instead of a debit or credit card to make payments.
“Particularly in London, there has been a great impact on travelling now you can pay with your mobile phone,” Mr Tsivrikos said.
“That really started engaging us to use our phone as our wallet.”
Mr Tsivrikos went on to point out that consumers have generally been distrustful of banking ever since the financial crisis.
However, he believes technology is more trusted by the public at large. While Mr Tsivrikos stressed that Apple Pay is “just a middle man”, as people still have to deal with a bank, he said technology has “created the illusion that the consumer has the power”.
He went on to note that apps such as Uber, Just Eat and Task Rabbit have also had a profound impact on how people use and perceive various service providers.
Indeed, Mr Tsivrikos said that with a smartphone, a consumer can now get “practically any household chore you want done, transport yourself anywhere and even date”.
“Money and our personal behaviours are now going through our phones, so our phone has become the main gatekeeper of these things,” he added.
With the Apple iPhone marking its tenth anniversary this year, many phone fanatics are actively looking back and reflecting on how smartphones have transformed their lives.
When you stop to think about it, it's obvious that the reach and impact of these devices has been staggering, and they are so much a part of our day-to-day lives that we don't always realise how much things have changed.
It's therefore exciting to ponder what more changes could be in store over the next ten years. Will the way we think about and engage with brands and service providers bear any resemblance to today? We'll just have to wait and see!