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How Reliance on Smart Devices is Influencing Consumer Behaviour

by Gina Westbrook – Editorial Director Euromonitor International

Recent years have seen an explosion in mobile web use. Increasingly powerful devices and apps are capable of fulfilling a multitude of tasks, from entertainment, communication and navigation to shopping, education and health monitoring. As a result consumers are becoming ever more immersed in their own digital worlds, anywhere and anytime. Our new global report analyses the current and future impact of the new mobile-centric lifestyle on consumer behaviour and markets.

Use of Apps: Home and Away 2013 (Heading for Graph)

Cocooning on the Move: The Mobile Revolution
The move towards away-from-home mobile access is illustrated by the results of Euromonitor International’s Analyst Pulse survey of July 2013, in which the company’s network of in-country analysts and in-house researchers around the world were asked about their app use. As many as 58 percent of respondents were found to use smartphone apps equally at home and away from home, and 29 percent used them only or mostly away from home. Only eight percent used smartphones apps only at home. Tablet apps were, however, more commonly used at home (35 percent). A total of 40 percent of respondents did not own a tablet, but 19 percent used tablet apps equally at home and away.

The arrival of smartphones in the latter half of the 1990s, followed by the emergence of tablets with the launch of Apple’s iPad in 2010, dramatically changed the global digital landscape and began to exert a strong influence on all aspects of consumer lifestyles and behaviour. Recent years have seen rapid growth in internet-enabled mobile devices that are capable of fulfilling a multitude of tasks, from shopping, entertaining and networking to banking, education and navigation. Moreover, the trend is showing no signs of abating. Microsoft’s recent expansion directly into smartphones through the acquisition of Nokia is further evidence of the fact that mobile is still seen as the way forward in technology and communications.

An Always-Connected Society
A major consequence of the growth in mobile web use is that the trend towards cocooning – the home-centred lifestyle that characterised the early part of the century – has given way to a movement towards mobile or individual cocooning, whereby consumers are immersed in their own digital worlds anywhere and anytime. While there may be greater interaction than ever between friends, family and strangers, this is increasingly likely to take place via a digital device rather than in face-to-face situations. Smartphones and tablets have become essential accessories that many feel they cannot live without.

For Much More
The trends have been identified by Euromonitor International’s Strategy Briefing team. To purchase the full report, click here:

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