Announcing Our Annual Benchmark On The State Of US Consumers And Technology In 2016

Gina Fleming

In 2016, consumers of all ages are extremely connected — the average US online adult uses more than four connected devices, three-quarters use a smartphone and more than half use a tablet. Forrester’s annual report on the State of Consumers and Technology: Benchmark 2016, US reveals the most important consumer technology trends that marketers need to know. This data-rich report is a graphical analysis of a range of topics about consumers and technology and serves as a benchmark for US consumers’ level of technology adoption, usage, and attitudes. Our annual benchmark report is based on Forrester's Technographics® online benchmark survey that we've been fielding since 1998. We analyze our findings through a generational lens, including Gen Z, Gen Y, Gen X, Younger Boomers, Older Boomers, and the Golden Generation.

What did we find this year? All generations use more devices this year than a year ago, but which devices they use depends heavily on age. For example, 84% of Gen Zers (ages 18-27) use a smartphone and laptop, but only 44% use a desktop computer and 49% use a tablet. Their older Millennial counterparts, Gen Yers (ages 28 -36), have higher incomes and in addition to using smartphones and tablets, two-thirds use a tablet. In contrast, three-quarters of the Golden Generation (ages 72+) uses a desktop computer, and only a third use a smartphone. 

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The Data Digest: Forrester's Social Technographics 2016

Gina Fleming

To build a successful social media program you need to understand your audience’s social media behaviors and preferences. We just released our 2016 results for Forrester's Social Technographics model, and it does just that. It shows how important social should be in your marketing plans based on how important social tools are in your customers’ life cycle. We group consumers into four groups: Social Skippers, Snackers, Savvies and Stars—the Skippers spurn commercial social interactions and the Stars demand it.

What did we find this year? In 2016, the average US online adult receives an overall score of 40 and fits into our Social Savvies category. Social Savvies consider social tools a part of their everyday lives. On average, US online adults score highly for explore and discover— they use social tools to discover new products and also to explore them when they’re considering their purchases. Compared to last year, US consumers are slightly more social media savvy in 2016: The Social Technographics Score for the average US online adult has increased from 37 in 2015 to 40 in 2016. 

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The Data Digest: What Pokémon Go Reveals About Evolving Consumers

Anjali Lai

Within 24 hours of its launch, Pokémon Go broke app download records and user numbers began multiplying by the minute. It wasn’t long before mysterious names like “Jigglypuff” and “Squirtle” peppered daily conversation, stampedes of mobile-obsessed gamers became commonplace, and augmented reality approached a tipping point.

The future arrives faster than we think.

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Amazon Has Surpassed Flipkart As Indian Consumers’ Preferred Online Retail Destination

Satish Meena

According to data from Forrester’s Consumer Technographics® Asia Pacific Online Benchmark Survey, 2016, in the past three months Amazon has, for the first time since 2014, surpassed Flipkart as the preferred online retail destination for consumers in India’s metropolitan areas. Amazon’s takeover has been rapid: 30% of respondents in our 2014 survey reported buying from Amazon; this year, 76% said they did. Compare this with Flipkart’s essentially flat growth: from 63% in 2014 to 68% in 2016. Snapdeal remains far behind both Amazon and Flipkart.

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48% Of Retail Sales In Asia Pacific By 2020 Will Be Impacted By Web

Satish Meena

Only 13% of total retail sales in Asia Pacific (Australia, China, India, Japan, and South Korea) were made online in 2015, but the impact of the web on offline retail sales is much bigger. Our recently published Forrester Data Web-Influenced Retail Sales Forecast, 2015 To 2020 (Asia Pacific) shows the influence of the web on offline retail sales and how its impact varies by country and category. Some of the key findings of the forecast are as follows:

  • The web impacted more than a third of total retail sales in 2015 and will impact 48% by 2020. Smartphones are becoming consumers’ most widely used mobile device, and consumers are using them to find information about a product irrespective of their location. They use them to research products, even when they are shopping in physical stores; to compare prices with online retailers; to check specifications; and to read user reviews. This behavior is making the web a more powerful medium — one that retailers can no longer ignore. We expect web-influenced retail sales in Asia Pacific to reach $2.1 trillion in 2020, up from $1.2 trillion in 2015.
  • South Korea leads in web-impacted sales . . . High penetration rates for the internet, smartphones, online retail, social media, online payment options, and messaging platforms are powering the web’s impact on retail sales in South Korea. Similar factors mean that Japan, China, and Australia closely follow South Korea in terms of web-impacted sales.
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The Data Digest: Introducing Forrester’s Empowered Customer Segmentation

Anjali Lai

From the mischief caused by Napster to the arrival of the iPhone and the (once improbable) reality of wearables and self-driving cars, our world has evolved – and so have your customers. Since the launch of Forrester’s Consumer Technographics® study in 1997, we have had a front-row seat for the dramatic changes in consumer behaviors and attitudes that have upended traditional business models and resulted in a chaotic marketplace where behemoths become bygones.

These changes are not as random as you might think: Forrester’s data analysis reveals five key shifts in consumer behaviors, attitudes, and expectations that fuel customer empowerment: willingness to experiment, device usage, digital/physical integration, information savviness, and self-efficacy. As consumers continue to evolve along these dimensions, business leaders must think differently about how to build and sustain customer relationships – more than simply analyzing historical behavior, demographics, and lifestyles, models of customer understanding must now account for the empowered customer’s expectations, emotional motivations, and contextual decisions.

Therefore, we are excited to launch Forrester’s Empowered Customer Segmentation, a model that measures how customers evolve along the five dimensions of change – and at what rate.

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The Data Digest: Sports, Spectators, And Screen Time

Anjali Lai

Sports fans around the world are having a heyday: From the Copa America soccer tournament in the US to the European Champions Cup across the pond, and from live Wimbledon matches to the imminent Summer Olympic Games, there is no lack of global sports entertainment at this moment.

Sports teams have always brought people together as much as divided them — and in today’s age, technology amplifies the drama of fandom. Personal devices play a critical role in how people come together around sports, when fans watch the action unfold, and how they discuss the results.

For example, Forrester’s latest Consumer Technographics® survey data reveals that consumers worldwide have recently accessed sports applications on their mobile phones and tablets: 

Our previous research shows that consumers often prefer tablets for longer, more engaging, media-rich experiences — and in fact, Forrester’s mobile behavioral data indicates that consumers spend more time on sports apps when using their tablet rather than their mobile phone. However, technology doesn’t only enable sports enthusiasts to get into the game — oftentimes, it also allows more casual fans to multitask.

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The Data Digest: Putting The "Work" In Social Network

Anjali Lai

We’re all guilty of falling prey to the lure of social media and losing hours to it. But there’s little doubt that social networking also encourages collaboration, creativity, and productivity – especially if it’s used for work. When Microsoft made history this week by announcing its $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn, Jeff Weiner argued that such a move will allow both companies to realize their “common mission to empower people and organizations.” And empowerment in the workplace is deeply attractive, particularly for the rising generation of employees: Millennials.

Forrester’s Business Technographics® survey data shows that younger employees leverage social networks at least daily because they believe this enhances productivity. At work, employees tune into social networks across devices, but most do so on tablets:

 

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The Data Digest: Upping The Emotional Ante Down Under

Anjali Lai

Emotions are at the basis of how customers perceive experiences – and why they choose to stay loyal to certain brands. But, not all emotions are equal: Different emotions lead to unique behavioral outcomes depending on context, emotional intensity, and even industry.

For example, in our latest study, my colleague Tom McCann and I measured the emotional impact of CX among banks and retailers in Australia. We discovered that feeling valued is one of the most powerful emotions driving loyalty toward a bank: Australian customers who feel that their bank puts them first are willing to pay a premium for the bank’s experience and are more forgiving when something goes wrong. However, among retail customers, valued is good – but happy is better. Australian retailers that leave customers in a cheery mood are more likely to retain their shoppers and turn their customers into advocates.

And what makes Australian shoppers happy? Forrester’s Consumer Technographics® survey data shows that details in the experience go a long way. For instance, customers are pleased with perceptibly low prices or special deals, stocked inventory, and pleasant customer service reps.

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The Data Digest: Facebook Dominates The Social Landscape

Nicole Dvorak

Today, the average US smartphone owner spends over 2 hours per day using apps and websites on their device — more time than they spend watching TV. Despite this, most of the time that consumers spend using these mobile devices is to communicate with others. Downloaded social networking and communication apps — messaging, email, and digital video/voice – come in a variety of forms; some facilitate intimate conversation, while others blast a network (or even the public) with a one-way status update. As a whole, these apps achieve some of the highest app reach and engagement rates for both US and UK consumers.

My recent report, The Uptake And Engagement Of Social Mobile Apps In The US And The UK, compares the reach of social mobile apps as well as the average number of days per month and sessions per day that smartphone owners (18+) use these apps. Using Forrester's Mobile Audience Data (passively tracked smartphone data), we found that:

  • Facebook is still the most popular app used by both US and UK smartphone owners today.
  • Messaging apps like Snapchat, WhatsApp, and Kik keep users coming back frequently throughout the day.
  • Smartphone owners access email apps frequently throughout the course of a month.
  • The Instagram app reaches more users and has them coming back more frequently than the Twitter app in the US.
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