The Data Digest: Evolving Consumer Attitudes On Privacy

Anjali Lai

Back in 2013, we conducted a study to figure out how the “summer of Snowden” was affecting consumer opinion on privacy. A year later, we combined that data with a current pulse of consumer sentiment, and found that mainstream attitude signaled imminent behavior change.

Fast forward another year: Today, US presidential candidates are talking about privacy and personal data protection during the pre-primary season. We have recently witnessed three more major data breaches affecting millions of Americans. The adblocking debate is at fever pitch, while Internet giants make privacy a point of differentiation. So, we ran our study a third time, and incorporated behavioral tracking data into the methodology.

Our findings? Consumers are more willing than ever to 1) walk away from your business if you fail to protect their data and privacy; 2) adopt technologies like tracker-blockers and VPNs to limit their exposure to data misuse; and 3) extend their protective actions to the physical realm. And, Forrester’s Consumer Technographics® data shows that this story pertains to millennials and their older counterparts alike:  

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Holiday Shopping Moves Online — In Both Western Europe And The US

Michael O'Grady

In Western Europe, November and December account for a fifth of annual retail sales. However, consumers aren’t spending more over the holiday period; they are just shifting their spending earlier in the shopping season. Forrester expects European online sales over the holiday period to grow 12.5% compared to 2014. In the UK, heavy discounting, notably as a result of Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions, has a huge impact on holiday shopping.

  • Holiday spending is of critical importance to retailers. In 2014, Amazon traded one-third of its retail sales in the last three months of the year. And in the UK, 19% of annual retail sales happen in the six-week run-up to Christmas. Consumers spend more online during the holiday period and buy from more retail categories than they do during the rest of the year. Toys, jewelry, perfume, and videos are among the most popular categories bought online.
  • UK retailers embrace Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The majority of UK retailers participated in Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales in 2014. In fact, nearly one-fifth of all online sales in the eight weeks leading up to December 27, 2014 happened in the week of Black Friday. And for UK retailer John Lewis, its sales in Black Friday week overtook its sales in Christmas week.
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The Data Digest: Opt Out Of Reading This Post

Anjali Lai

I always love this time of year. Here in Cambridge, Mass., we’re at a turning point: With the close of the World Series and the start of daylight savings, we face the reality that evenings are colder, nights come faster, and the holidays are imminent. With summer escapes behind us and holiday shopping ahead of us, recent media stories made me think about one phenomenon that does not change with the seasons: the relentless efficacy of advertising.

For example, REI’s latest ad, which urges consumers to forego Black Friday, may look like commercial suicide at first glance, but don’t underestimate the effects of an unexpected message. Forrester’s Consumer Technographics® data shows that while ads may not directly spark a purchase, they immediately enhance awareness and can spark consumer behavior that subsequently drives consumption:

And this data only quantifies the advertising effects of which consumers are aware; more often than not, advertising has a deeper, subconscious impact on consumer behavior and attitudes.

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Examine Mobile Pathways To Understand The Context Of Your Customers’ Mobile Moments

Nicole Dvorak

An alarm sounds. My phone is telling me to get up. I move through my morning routine; I check my email app, then my weather app. Finally, I get out of bed. As I walk to work, I browse the mobile Web for nearby bakeries. I need to order some cupcakes for my friend’s birthday party . . . tonight. I get side-tracked when I find a bakery that offers maple donuts – I love maple donuts. I suddenly remember that I’m tasked with bringing breakfast for our family Thanksgiving this year. I put a reminder on my calendar app.

Each time I pick up or look at my mobile phone to find an answer to a question, I have a mobile moment. This month, the 30 different apps and 100 mobile websitesI visit will amount to hundreds of mobile moments. How do I navigate from one mobile moment to the next? How do smartphone owners transition between communicating, consuming media, shopping, paying bills, and posting memories? Charting consumers’ behaviors across mobile sites and apps is what Forrester calls mobile pathway analysis. Using our behavioral tracking data collected from consumers’ smartphones, Forrester is introducing this new analysis to help brands understand their customers’ context when navigating to and from their brand’s apps and mobile websites. Context is key, as reported by my colleague Julie Ask in her recent speech at Forrester's Digital Business Forum last week.

In this analysis, we help you answer five mobile pathway questions:

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The Data Digest: Window Shopping: Now A Popular Activity On Tablets

Nicole Dvorak

If you’ve noticed fewer window shoppers on the streets lately, it may be because they’re at home window shopping from their couches; that is, they’re discovering and exploring products without necessarily intending to purchase.

For our 2015 US Mobile Landscape report*, Forrester analyzed mobile audience data from our behavioral tracking panel to understand how consumers use smartphones and tablets in 2015. We found that although professionals often group both devices under the “mobile” umbrella, consumers use smartphones and tablets in very different ways. One notable difference centers on mobile commerce: While smartphone commerce is still struggling to get traction, for tablets it’s already one of the most common activities. In fact, Forrester’s US Mobile Phone And Tablet Commerce Forecast, 2015 To 2020 shows that total tablet retail purchases more than double those made on a smartphone.

Our behavioral data shows that in the first half of 2015, 68% of tablet owners visited a shopping site at least once in a given month — that’s more than the number who visited news/media, TV/video, or even social networking sites! And these tablet shoppers aren’t just visiting Only about half took to Amazon —the other half visited other online shopping websites that fit their interests, brand preferences, and lifestyle.


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The Data Digest: Wear, Why, And What Next?

Anjali Lai

For US online adults, wearable technology is no longer the stuff of myth. Over the past year alone we’ve witnessed the launch of the Apple Watch and iterations on early wearable products. Wearable devices are now making their media cameo across a variety of channels and topics ranging from politics to pop culture.

According to Forrester’s Consumer Technographics® survey data, around one-fifth of US online consumers use a wearable gadget. While the adoption rate is higher among young, wealthy males, wearables are already breaking into segments that aren’t typically considered among the early adopters. Most individuals tend to use the technology for health- and fitness-related activity; however, consumers demonstrate a growing interest in using wearables for several different functions:

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Data Digest: Announcing Our Annual Benchmark On The State Of US Consumers And Technology In 2015

Gina Fleming

In 2015, consumers of all ages are extremely connected — the average US online adult uses more than four connected devices, and 70% use a smartphone. Marketers today want to know who the early adopters are, how far behind the laggards are, and what types of technologies they need to incorporate into their marketing and customer interaction mix.

Our annual report on The State Of Consumers And Technology: Benchmark 2015, US answers these questions. 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.

Because of sharp differences in technology adoption by age, we analyze our findings through a generational lens, including Gen Z, Gen Y, Gen X, Younger Boomers, Older Boomers, and the Golden Generation. So what did we find this year? Not surprisingly, younger generations lead in technology uptake, with Gen Yers leading the way — showing the highest uptake of Internet-connected TVs, smartphones, and tablets. Older generations lag behind, but even members of the Golden Generation use more than three connected devices, on average.

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Global Smartphone Subscribers Surpassed Feature Phone Subscribers in 2014

Satish Meena

Last year, the number of smartphone subscribers in the world surpassed the number of feature phone subscribers. We expect the share of people using smartphones to grow at a rapid pace through 2020, when 87% of all mobile subscribers will have a smartphone. Several factors will drive this trend, including the falling average selling price of smartphones, the increasing availability of low-cost data plans, greater 3G penetration, and the continued rise of mobile messaging apps, social media, mCommerce, and mobile apps. The majority of new smartphone subscribers will come from Asia Pacific and Africa; the opportunity that developed markets present to handset manufacturers is primarily in the form of handset replacement. According to our recently published Forrester Research World Mobile And Smartphone Adoption Forecast, 2015 To 2020 (Global), in 2020 there will be more than 5.4 billion active smartphones in the hands of more than 3.6 billion subscribers across the globe. Some of the implications of rapid smartphone growth are as follows:

  • Shortening the smartphone replacement cycle in developed markets.In most developed markets, smartphone penetration is saturating; vendors are expected to launch programs like Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program to increase smartphone sales by shortening the replacement cycle. And it’s not just the US; handset manufacturers or telcos may launch similar programs in other regions with high smartphone penetration, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, the UK, and the United Arab Emirates.
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The Data Digest: Citizen Engagement Will Put Smart Cities On The Map

Anjali Lai

“It takes a village” – but when it comes to building smart cities, it takes far more than that. Developing smart cities requires strategic partnerships, creative business models, change management – and according to my latest report, co-authored with my colleague Jennifer Belissent – citizen buy-in. In order for smart city technology to take hold, governments must incorporate citizens’ perspectives into their strategy long before giving their plans the green light.

Gathering citizen perspectives on so nascent a concept is a classic challenge; however, current attitudes and behaviors signal citizen readiness for smart cities. For instance, as US and UK online adults become aware of smart city solutions, they grow deeply intrigued. And, according to Forrester’s Consumer Technographics® survey and behavioral tracking data, online adults’ current device activities lend themselves to participating as engaged digital citizens: 

US and UK citizens are equipped to interact with their community and governments through new technology, which suggests a readiness for smart city applications and services. However, citizens are conscious of the fact that this smart city sophistication comes with tradeoffs, like threats to data privacy and the risks of relying on one digital system.

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2015 Global eCommerce Trends - 4 reasons to be excited about tomorrow’s webinar

Susan Wu

Join us tomorrow as we host a webinar on the state of global online retailing in 2015. Learn how to better target increasingly sophisticated buyers through an understanding of consumer behaviors and market trends.   We will talk about the present status of shoppers and its implications for the future.  The webinar will draw on forecast data insights from our Online Retail, Web-Influence, and Luxury Retail forecasts. 

We plan to discuss:

1)     What you can learn from young mobile shoppers in mobile-first economies.

2)     How product purchases differ across markets and why that matters.

3)     How the changing eCommerce landscape is impacting consumer purchase behaviors.

4)     The cross-border impact on global eCommerce.


Register for our webinar here or contact your Forrester representative to attend: