All reports indicate that digital usage is up and will likely continue to retain much of its popularity even after the pandemic is over. A global study of a cross-section of more than 4,000 consumers, marketers, and tech experts before the pandemic revealed some interesting insights into the future of digital and how to leverage it for success.
Some of the study’s findings, such as consumers expecting online access and service, were not surprising. The major finding was that brands will need to have an even deeper understanding and awareness of their targeted audience going forward.
Among the signs that pointed to the need for greater consumer attention were that 60 percent of households polled owned at least one smart device. More than a third (35 percent) reported having two mobile devices, while 37 percent said they had three or more.
Other findings included 29 percent of consumers who said they use three or more banking or payment apps. Two other interesting discoveries were that 39 percent had already purchased virtual reality or augmented reality devices, while 45 percent said they expect to buy or add these by 2025.
Brands may need to rethink the role of digital in their strategy if it’s not a major part of their marketing plan at this current time. With more than a third of respondents already owning three or more mobile devices, and increases expected, dependency on mobile is expected to climb through 2030.
An area not often investigated is wearables like fitness devices and smart trackers. Of those polled, 445 said they have at least one fitness device in their homes and more than half expect to increase their usage by 2025. Astoundingly, 78 percent reported that they anticipate using their wearable to control other devices.
Brands that recognize these signals, and who can deliver real-time advice and feedback to their consumers by utilizing tools like inserted LoT technology sensors to collect data, will see significant gains.
Artificial Intelligence investments
Although the survey found that consumers in North America trailed behind their counterparts in the Asia-Pacific region in all areas of smart technology, 50 percent of North American households still reported that they expected their use of smart tech to rise through 2025 and again by 2030.
Companies have a great opportunity to be a part of automated households by providing and recommending brands and services without being asked while gathering data that will assist in further tailoring their messages.
Although Apple and PayPal are currently in the lead with respect to online transactions, the survey demonstrates that brands have an opportunity to be a part of this growing trend while building consumer loyalty and trust.
Get ready for Augmented Reality
While 78 percent of respondents said they expect to be using augmented or virtual reality by 2030, it’s not too early to jump aboard now. AR is particularly hopeful as it affords users the opportunity to see ahead. Shoppers can virtually try on clothing, see how a piece of furniture would look in their living room, or view directions via their phone cameras.
Brands that are flexible, adaptable and quick to act will likely see much success by adapting to a changing consumer environment regardless of which digital avenues they pursue.