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Monday, 05 December 2011 11:28

Consumers changing technology habits

Written by Nick Farell



Rapid adoption of new tech


Consumers around the world are embracing new technology at a rapid pace, a fact that is changing lifestyles and the commercial landscape around the globe, according to KPMG’s latest Consumer & Convergence Report.

The report with the catchy title “The Converged Lifestyle” claims that consumers have more choice in devices than ever before and that this choice increasingly serves one purpose: to enable consumers to get what they want, when they want it and where they want it. UK consumers and businesses are ahead of the curve when it comes to adopting new technologies as online shopping and the use of social media are more widespread in the UK than in other parts of the globe.

But UK consumers are also more price conscious when it comes to choosing new devices and services, and appear more concerned about privacy and security. Tudor Aw, KPMG’s European Head of Technology said that the survey reveals that consumers around the globe adopt new technologies at a rapid pace and at the same time are increasingly willing to accept their data to be tracked if they get something in return.

“This represents a huge opportunity for all players in the digital ecosystem - retailers, advertisers, telecom operators and the financial industry,” he said.

That is not to say that consumers do not care about their data. It also found that users concerns over privacy and data security have increased over the last few years and companies across all sectors need to take this concern seriously. Whether its retailers or banks, consumers want transparency as to what companies do about data security and they want third parties to certify this security.

Across most categories of goods, the majority of respondents reported a preference to purchase items online rather than at a physical outlet. In the UK 74 per cent percent of consumers said they were more likely to buy flights and vacations online (globally 70 per cent ), 77 per cent prefer to buy CDs, DVDs, books and video games online (65 per cent globally). The majority of respondents said they prefer to purchase luxury goods in a shop and four in ten consumers still seem to shun online grocery shopping. These trends are particularly evident in the Land of the Free where more than three quarters of respondents said they would book a flight online, but only 21 percent said they were more likely to buy groceries online.

The survey reveals the extent to which smartphones and tablets are changing shopping behaviour. When shopping at retail outlets, 45 per cent of UK respondents said they now use their mobile devices to locate the nearest store, 32per cent to research products and services, 30per cent for online coupons and one in 5 (19 per cent ) scan in barcodes to for product information. Globally 41per cent research products & services and almost a quarter pay with their mobile devices.

When buying products or services the majority of customers in the UK and globally consult feedback and ratings pages on the internet or get information on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Monitoring and managing third party information sources will therefore be a key element of any digital sales strategy.

Nick Farell

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