Consumer services

Major digital trends in post-pandemic Australia

Credit: Luke Stackpoole via Unsplash

The pandemic has had a significant impact on the way consumers engage with digital technologies, according to Deloitte’s annual report Digital consumption trends investigation report.

COVID-19 has clearly acted as a major catalyst in our adoption of digital technologies.

“We’ve bought more devices, we’ve used smartphones more than ever, we’ve embraced telehealth and virtual appointments, we’ve moved more towards remote and contactless payments, and we’ve increased the time. dedicated to social media and streaming services, ”says Deloitte Consulting Partner and National Telecommunications Lead. , Peter Corbett.

The results of the second edition of the Deloitte Digital Consumer Trends survey report (formerly known as the Mobile Consumer Survey) are based on a national sample of 2,000 people aged 18 to 75, surveyed online at the end of July.

Main conclusions:

Fake news

  • 79% see fake news as a problem.
  • 53% consider information from traditional providers to be trustworthy, compared to just 18% for social media.

Private life

  • 85% of Australians know their data is used by businesses and 73% are concerned about privacy
  • 32% stopped using social media in the past 12 months and 28% cited privacy concerns as the reason

Connectivity and 5G

  • 33% have changed their home Internet service, most often switching to higher speeds
  • 14% now have a 5G service, compared to 6% in 2020

Ownership and use of the device

  • 38% bought a digital device as a direct result of the pandemic

Contactless payments

  • 85% used a smartphone to make an in-store payment, up from 58% in 2020.

False news is a major concern for many Australians, and this was especially the case during COVID, when access to reliable information was particularly important.

“When it comes to our favorite news sources, traditional media, such as television, continue to dominate, followed by apps and websites affiliated with a news provider or newspaper. In contrast, social media as a source of information doesn’t receive the same favor, ”Corbett said.

“Trust issues, especially among older consumers, present a particular challenge for social media platforms that seek to keep older people engaged, but also highlight an ongoing question about how they engage older people. youth. “

Post-pandemic privacy

Scanning QR codes and sharing vaccination status have given Australians a better understanding of their personal data, who it is shared with and how it is used.

Although the level of concern about how businesses use consumer data has declined, many Australians are unsure whether the benefits they derive from sharing their data outweigh their concerns about data privacy. .

“Some consumers certainly see the benefits of sharing their data, such as better personalization of information and advertising, but there is also evidence of self-regulation of data sharing through selective permissions in apps and cancellation of services or platform subscriptions for privacy reasons, ”Corbett said.

“These evolving attitudes, combined with the expected updates to Australian privacy law over the next 12-18 months, are an exciting start to the post-pandemic privacy world.”

“For businesses, it’s critical that they find a balance here, while capturing the data needed to enable great digital experiences.

“Developing smarter consent strategies, allowing consumers to understand and maintain better control over data use and user-friendly consent management will need to be considered. “

The connectivity wave and the adoption of 5G

The virtual world over the past 18 months has been a lifeline for many, and has been the driving force behind changes and upgrades to home connectivity.

The rollout of 5G in Australia has continued at full speed, and while adoption is expected to continue to grow, the pace of growth will be determined by factors such as device compatibility, availability of MVNO (network operator). virtual mobile) and the relevance of 5G in smartphone purchasing decisions. .

“The connectivity landscape is different for Australian consumers in 2021 compared to before the pandemic,” Corbett said.

“5G adoption has doubled since 2020 to 14%, which is high compared to other geographies, and we have also seen consumers improve home connectivity with 33% of respondents modifying their service. Internet at home since the start of the pandemic with speed upgrades being the main reason for change. “

Devices

The pandemic purchase of tech devices in 2021 has found a new gear, with 38% of respondents purchasing at least one tech device in 2021 compared to 26% in 2020.

Laptops, smartphones, and televisions were the preferred devices, with most categories of devices experiencing a bump.

“The spike has a potential impact on the adoption of new technologies such as 8K TVs and 5G smartphones,” Corbett said.

“Consumers who have purchased a 4K TV or 4G enabled smartphone in the past 12 months will likely wait several years for their next refresh, which could impact mass adoption of the latest technology.

“Ownership of portable devices also continued to grow, while purchases also extended to the long tail of consumer devices connected to the home, such as smart devices, lighting and hub devices.

“On this front, there is clear potential for hardware vendors to bundle services to support, for example, home security and energy monitoring through apps, cloud services, software upgrades. , support and installation, and subscription business models.

Contactless payments

Mobile digital wallets are now mainstream and used by 85% of Australians. Payments using our wrists are also increasing, with 10% of respondents preferring payments using a wearable device.

Mobile digital wallets are becoming more and more mainstream, but it’s not the only trend in digital payments emerging from the pandemic.

Will Castles, Consulting Partner of Deloitte and National Leader in Technology, Media and Telecommunications: “The fintech-enabled payments landscape is clearly opening up, with the growing popularity of Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) platforms and consumer adoption of peer-to-peer payment applications and QR code payments (eQRs) providing more places to look.

“Businesses should seek to take advantage of these pervasive changes in digital behavior and focus on designing products and services with a larger, now more tech-savvy consumer in mind, as well as a technology-conscious consumer. environment. “

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