Consumers have become accustomed to near-ubiquitous internet access to get goods and services on-demand, as well as run multiple facets of their lives. As a result, customer experiences powered by digital technology are extending well beyond shopping, impacting everything from work and leisure to entertainment and relationships.
How Consumers Live In The Connected Economy Report, PYMNT research surveys 15,094 U.S. consumers to examine how digital technology is transforming their lives. The study indicates that about 73 million highly-connected consumers have embraced a digitally engaged and interconnected future. What’s more, 92% of all U.S. consumers have placed online orders for goods or services.
U.S. consumers connected with the digital economy in various ways, from smartphones, tablets, computers, smart TVs and even appliances. Data shows the average number of connected devices per consumer appears to be leveling off and dropped slightly below five after rising for several years despite the abundance of gadgets on the market — a sign consumers are using fewer devices for more.
The findings are astonishing because digital connectedness itself has surged over the past year. This connectivity is reflected in how just how widespread certain digital activities have become. The research shows that a greater share of consumers reports purchasing retail products online (75%) over the past 12 months than in-store (64%). Additionally, more than three-quarters of consumers have conducted at least some of their banking transactions online. Paying bills online, checking for online discounts and sales, and contacting a seller online are other activities for consumers.
Highly connected consumers’ habits are especially notable as each payment they make determines whether any given digital activity translates into meaningful economic activity. The report uncovers that 62% of highly connected consumers report having received payments via mobile wallets at least once over the past 12 months, which is twice the share paid via check or direct deposits. They also had four preferred methods to make payments. Credit cards lead as 80% of highly connected consumers claim to use, backed by mobile wallets and debit cards tied at 65% and followed by PayPal at 62%.