Online motivations vary widely

13 November 2014

GLOBAL: Connected consumers globally are driven by four key motivations but the weight they give to each of these can vary significantly depending on the stage of a country's economic development according to a new report.

The Connected Consumer Study, produced by consulting firm A.T. Kearney, covered ten countries (the US, the UK, Germany, Japan, Brazil, Russia, China, India, South Africa and Nigeria) with 10,000 evenly distributed respondents and identified personal connection, exploration, self-expression and convenience as the main stimuli for going online.

Exploration predictably attracted the highest response, with 95% of all those surveyed agreeing they wanted to get online in order to find and learn new things.

This was more true of mature markets – emerging markets tended to value self-expression more highly, as did those places where opportunities for offline self-expression are limited.

In China, Nigeria, and India, for example, more than 85% of respondents said the ability to express their opinions was a key reason for being online.

Interpersonal connection was cited by 73% of participants, and once again this was much stronger in some countries, with India (94%), Nigeria (89%) and China (88%) again standing out.

The convenience factor was more personal, as for some people it might mean home delivery, for others the ability to access sports or movie content.

These motivations, said Hana Ben-Shabat, A.T. Kearney partner and co-author of the study, were changing the roles played by brands and retailers. If they were to be successful, she said, they would have to "address these needs by building communities, entertaining, and educating consumers and maintaining an ongoing dialogue".

From an advertising standpoint, the behaviour of the connected consumer followed the mature-emerging market divide. In the US, for example, just 7% of respondents clicked on banner ads or pop-ups, but in Nigeria 93% said they clicked on these at least sometimes; there were also very high figures for India (84%) and China (83%).

This split was also evident in social media, with up to three quarters of respondents in the US, UK, Germany and Japan saying they rarely or never considered social media chatter when thinking about which products, services or brands to buy.

But most consumers in China, India, South Africa, Brazil and Nigeria will use social network feedback when shopping. And in China almost 95% occasionally or frequently used social networks to evaluate products, services and brands.

Data sourced from AT Kearney; additional content by Warc staff