The Data Digest: The Yin And Yang Of Consumer Decisions

Anjali Lai

The tug of war between reason and emotion has fueled contentious debate since the days of Socrates. But, Socrates and subsequent thinkers didn’t anticipate the influx of data in our contemporary world. Today, our modern media saturation, infinite social connection, and sensor-laden bodies and buildings mean that we create, consult, and critique data more than ever before. How does the vast amount of information – that is now literally at our fingertips – actually influence our daily decisions, and why?

Forrester’s Consumer Technographics® survey data proves that individuals are steeped in information and are keenly aware of it. In fact, the insight shows that US online adults increasingly lean on data to make daily choices across spheres of life:

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The Data Digest: Wearables And Youth

Anjali Lai

You might be on the fence about your wearable device, but how do you feel about that new toy your child is now playing with?

American youth love gadgets – and now, that includes wearables. While some technologies have a bigger impact on parents (like those intended to keep track of youngsters’ whereabouts), other wearables are helping kids accomplish the same results that adults seek from their own wearable devices: a healthier lifestyle, instant education, and pure entertainment.

Among early technophiles, the products are catching on: Forrester’s Consumer Technographics® survey data shows that 14% of US online youth (ages 12 to 17) currently use a wearable device – the most popular being a Fitbit, followed by the Apple Watch (in the US, nearly half of young mobile users own an Apple iPhone). And, as with many toys or fashions among adolescents, wearable preferences differ significantly by gender:

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The Slow-Moving Consumer Wearables Revolution

Susan Wu

In the past two years, there has been a boom in wearable device adoption — but growth will slow. Instead of the anticipated adoption explosion that many tech enthusiasts dreamed of, Forrester predicts that US consumer wearables spending will roughly double in the next five years. The main reasons for consolidation are that:

  • Fitness activity tracker bands will be cannibalized. Fitness tracker bands currently dominate the market but will diminish in utility over time. They currently face a high abandonment rate because repeated measurement information becomes less useful unless the data they output is more prescriptive, rather than descriptive.
  • Smartwatches will largely drive the future of wearables spending. More sophisticated wearable technologies, such as smartwatches with fitness tracking features, will partially cannibalize standalone tracker bands as the price gap between these devices narrows.  As vendors begin to pair devices with more tactical applications, smartwatches will drive further wearable adoption.
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Understanding The New Guidelines For Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) In eCommerce In India

Satish Meena

The Indian government issued new guidelines for FDI in eCommerce on March 29, 2016 to provide clear definitions for the sector and to remove ambiguities in the law that companies have been using to get foreign investment. Here are some of the key changes and my thoughts on their impact:

  • The government has defined an eCommerce entity, a marketplace model, and an inventory-led model. For the first time, the government has given clear definitions to remove the ambiguity in this sector. It also makes clearer the government’s position on the business models that online retailers are adopting. Online retailers are increasingly adopting an inventory-led model, as it gives them more control over supply and speeds the route to profitability. By not allowing FDI in the inventory-led model, the government has made it more complicated for online retailers looking to become profitable in the near term to support their valuations, go for an IPO, or raise funds.  

  • 100% FDI is allowed in the marketplace model. Allowing 100% FDI in the marketplace model largely maintains the status quo, as most online retail companies like Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal are funded through the marketplace loophole; these companies position themselves as technology facilitators for the buyer and seller. The new guidelines will help boost investment in marketplaces, as not every investor has felt confident about investing via a loophole. This is good news for the leading marketplaces that are looking for more funds to grow their business; they can now approach a new set of investors who were waiting for this clarification from the government.
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The Latin American Economy Is Slowing Down Online Retail Market Growth

Satish Meena

Online retail in Latin America faces a number of challenges: a troubling economy, rising unemployment, high inflation, and regulatory and infrastructure problems. The recently published Forrester Research Online Retail Forecast, 2015 To 2020 (Latin America) explores the impact of all of these factors. Some of the key findings are as follows.

  • Brazil remains the largest, but slowest-growing, online retail market. The online retail market in Brazil is double the online retail markets of Argentina and Mexico combined. But the ongoing economic crisis in Brazil is hurting its online retail market and causing a slowdown. We expect online retail in Brazil to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.5% from 2015 to 2020, compared with the CAGR of 28.3% witnessed from 2010 to 2015. Customers are spending less on both offline and online retail, which affects the overall growth rate and penetration of online retail, particularly in non-metropolitan areas. A lack of regulations and an unfavorable tax regime make it difficult for online retailers to expand beyond metropolitan areas.
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The Data Digest: Turn Data Monotony Into Data Mastery

Anjali Lai

Next time you find yourself wading through data points, sifting out patterns from the noise, hoping to catch the rare pearl of insight to affix to your business plan, know that you are not alone. Employees worldwide incessantly engage with data, and the companies they work for urgently execute on data-driven strategies in a race for better, faster results. Data pervades the workplace and continues to grow in terms of volume and variety: Research suggests that by 2020, the number of connected devices will more than triple, tens of thousands of data scientist jobs will be in high demand, and the majority of sales decisions will be data-driven.

But using data regularly doesn’t mean that employees truly understand it – or are comfortable with data practices. Specific obstacles prevent individuals – at the top and bottom of the organization – from eliciting effective insight. Forrester’s Business Technographics® and ConsumerVoices MROC data shows that while individuals rely heavily on data for decision-making, they still grapple with key challenges regarding the accuracy, volume, value, and security of the data they use:

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Data Digest: Social Apps Buzz During Super Bowl 50 Game Day

Nicole Dvorak

By: Nicole Dvorak and Kristopher Arcand

On February 7, 2016 112 million viewers tuned in to watch the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers, the 3rd largest in TV history according to Nielsen data.

To help companies understands consumers’ mobile behaviors on the big day Forrester used its Technographics 360 approach, which combines multiple data sources*.

Our behavioral data indicates that people don’t drastically change their mobile behaviors for the game. However, Twitter’s app attracted a 23% larger audience than the Sunday before. But increased usage isn’t everything: Even though it’s audience size grew by just 1% from the previous weekend, Facebook’s broad reach accounted for 1 in four smartphone owners using the Facebook app during Super Bowl 50 game time hours. Instagram - also popular during Super Bowl game time despite seeing a smaller audience from the previous week - reached 5% of smartphone owners (most of whom were 18 and 24 years old).

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The Data Digest: Finance Gets Social

Anjali Lai

There’s little doubt that we are living in a “selfie” culture. The once-mundane activities of exercising at the gym, driving to work, or simply making coffee are now social spectacles that win attention and, in some cases, profit. This impulse to share daily tasks begs us to rethink the meaning of “personal” – and now consumers have even begun to expose sensitive information like their financial behaviors.

Today's channels that bridge social connections are increasingly playing into consumers’ personal financial management tactics. Forrester’s Consumer Technographics® survey data shows that the number of US online adults logging into their financial accounts through social media has more than tripled in the past two years. In fact, more consumers are turning to both social channels and their cameras to forge closer interactions with financial services providers overall:

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The Data Digest: Is Love In The Air For Your Brand?

Anjali Lai

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, but for marketing and insights professionals, the love between a customer and a brand should be present all year round. Today, building loyal customer relationships is increasingly challenging; it requires effort, patience, and empathy. “Love at first sight” may be a fairytale and few consumers commit to a brand until death do them part, but those companies that forge deeply emotional bonds and align with consumer values gain a competitive edge.

Therefore, professionals striving to foster customer love must understand consumers holistically by answering questions like “What are consumers naturally most passionate about?” “Where are consumers engaging when not with my brand?” and “How do current lifestyles create opportunities to connect with new customers?”

My latest report, which blends Forrester’s Consumer Technographics® survey, behavioral, qualitative, and social listening data, reveals that US consumers who prioritize their health have a distinct attitude that sparks broader lifestyle choices. “Health-conscious” is not just a descriptor; it is also a driver, as consumer commitment to health stems from a deep need for self-improvement. 

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Data Digest: Just A Handful Of Apps Account For Nearly All App Time On Smartphones

Nicole Dvorak

Today, consumers spend most of their time on smartphones using apps - and just five apps account for 88% of the time they spend using downloaded apps. For the average US smartphone owner, those apps are Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Gmail, and FB Messenger. And although smartphone owners use about 24 unique apps in a given month, the remaining 19 command just a small slice of users' time.

Nicole Dvorak is a data scientist serving all roles. Follow her on Twitter at @NicoleLDvorak.

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