Smartphones have fundamentally altered how we engage with the wider world over the last few years.
They've changed how we communicate with our friends, how we spend our free time and encouraged us to share every detail of our lives with everyone we know.
But they've also had a huge impact on how we deal with brands and feel about the organisations we transact with.
According to a new report by EY, Australia has one of the highest levels of smartphone usage in the whole world, with 88 per cent of people in the country owning a device.
However, the report notes that this has fuelled an expectation for fast, efficient delivery on a mobile platform.
“Australians want information instantly and expect a truly differentiated and frictionless experience,” EY said.
With countless apps and the entire internet at our fingertips anytime and anywhere, it's easy to see why smartphones have made us so much more demanding.
But offering exactly what consumers want might be easier said than done, as the EY study suggests the needs and preferences of consumers seem to conflict at some points.
For instance, 79 per cent of consumers said they want their information to be integrated across all points of contact, while 40 per cent said firms risk losing their custom if they fail to offer a high-quality digital experience.
But at the same time, 68 per cent are concerned about privacy and how much personal information organisations can access.
So on the one hand, the smartphone revolution has encouraged consumers to expect a speedy, efficient and personalised service, with brands knowing exactly what people want and delivering it accordingly.
Yet many have worries about privacy and giving brands their details. It certainly looks as if brands are being asked to find the corners of a circle, but essentially, it seems as if people want a personalised service along with assurances over data security.
Many of us routinely give out crucial pieces of information via our smartphones because it is so easy to do so.
But over time, and perhaps in the wake of some high-profile data breaches, we have become far more aware of security, and that's fundamentally influencing who we choose to do business with.
In the future, the brands we trust and use the most will be those who we are confident of storing personal details safely and using them to deliver high-quality digital experiences.
Anything less simply won't be enough.