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BizReport : Internet : November 19, 2014

Study: Consumers find driving need to be always on

It is no secret that consumers around the globe are finding more reasons to be online and more ways to stay connected - mobile and gaming devices, computers and tablets are all ways about half of people surveyed in a recent A.T. Kearney report find to be connected 24/7.

by Kristina Knight

Hana Ben-Shabat, A.T. Kearney partner and co-author of the study said, "The need for connection, self-expression, exploration, and convenience has changed the roles that brands and retailers play. To be successful, brands and retailers must address these needs by building communities, entertaining, and educating consumers and maintaining an ongoing dialogue."

Some interesting takeaways from the report include:

• Consumers in India, Nigeria and China are most likely to go online to connect with others
• 95% of those surveyed said they go online to 'learn new things'
• 85% go online to express their opinions
• 46% say social networks are the biggest factor in the time they spend online

What does this hyper-connection mean, though? Some experts might say that these always-on consumers are more likely to engage with brands, but according to this report about 66% of those in developed nations said they 'rarely or never' consider social media chatter when considering a product, brand or service. However, in less developed areas - like Brazil, Nigeria and India - 95% of those surveyed said social network chatter helps them make buying decisions.

Mike Moriarty, A.T. Kearney partner and study co-author said, "Physical stores remain the foundation of retailing. Ninety percent of retail sales occur in stores, and of people who buy 'online,' 50 percent of the sales go through online sites run by retailers with physical stores. For those consumers that buy something exclusively online, chances are (67 percent) these consumers will go to a physical store to discover, test, taste or get their friends to weigh in on the decision. The key point is that the debate should not be a question of digital vs. physical. Successful retailers understand how each customer touch point adds value in the eyes of customers, and they develop omnichannel strategies that maximize customer satisfaction and profitability."

The full report can be found here.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: A.T. Kearney, always on consumers, internet trends, online trends

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