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Is post-COVID online convenience turning into online fatigue? How consumers are finding balance

by | Feb 23, 2022 | Public Relations

New research from digital insights software firm Cint examines consumer reactions to both the convenience and the mounting exhaustion surrounding moving life almost completely online as the pandemic enters year three, encompassing specific impacts on behaviors like shopping, online appointments, streaming, gaming, online dating and working.

The firm’s new study, Convenience Versus Fatigue in a Digital World, explores how consumers in the United States, United Kingdom and India are responding to spending more time online—and illustrates the effects of digitalization on consumer mindset and behavior, across regions and generations.

Is post-COVID online convenience turning into online fatigue? How consumers are finding balance

The study further illustrates the critical nature of using the right technology to conduct targeted, nimble consumer research in a global marketplace that continues to rapidly change. The insights can help brands and organizations uncover a baseline of where to best meet their target audiences online, while also planning for a population that is fatigued by digital activities.

Is post-COVID online convenience turning into online fatigue? How consumers are finding balance

Some specific findings outlined in the whitepaper include:

  • More than 50 hours a week of screentime is the new normal: Across all countries surveyed, people are spending an average of 53 hours online per week participating in activities ranging from streaming video and music to virtual appointments and online dating. That’s more than two full days and nights in a seven-day period.
  • “Digital native” generations have had enough: Gen Z reports being more negatively affected by constant digital activity than older generations with, for example, one-third preferring having video off while participating in activities like video calls.
  • Shoppers have picked up specific habits and preferences: Desires and feelings surrounding both in-person and online shopping are diverse – and quite specific. For example, Boomers in India prioritize free delivery, those in the U.S. want shorter queues when in-store.
  • Online gaming is reaching new levels: Second only to streaming video in terms of time spent online, Gen Z in the U.K. alone are spending 15 hours a week gaming. This captive and growing audience should be included in brand outreach strategies.

Is post-COVID online convenience turning into online fatigue? How consumers are finding balance

“Consumer behavior is changing and is full of nuances, which requires technology that will allow brands to keep up,” said Shawn Cabral, global marketing director of Cint, in a news release. “If there’s one thing this study showed us, it is that it’s essential that brands tap into large, diverse respondent groups to truly understand the unique characteristics of their target audiences.”

Is post-COVID online convenience turning into online fatigue? How consumers are finding balance

Download the full report here.

Data was uncovered by tapping into Cint’s consumer network for digital survey-based research, the world’s largest, with 145 million respondents in 130 countries. Cint explored a cross-section of nationally representative consumers in the United Kingdom (n=1002), United States (n=1005) and India (n=1008), split evenly across generations, to see how much appetite there is for online experiences and how much the digital world is causing fatigue.

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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