STOCKHOLM: Consumer lifestyles are being changed by improved connectivity which a new study has shown to be the main factor in encouraging the uptake of future services.
The Connected Lifestyles report from Ericsson ConsumerLab, part of the telecoms business, polled 3,000 smartphone users in three markets – Brazil, Indonesia and the US – as well as carrying out online qualitative research across five target groups, including college students, professionals and parents.
It noted that a connected lifestyle created new needs and expectations, with consumers welcoming services that helped simplify their lives or offered good value for money, at the same time as being easy to access and manage. In turn, companies were extending their existing offerings and further stimulating the digitisation of society.
Good connectivity emerged as the building block of this process, being the driving force for adopting future services for around a quarter of respondents in each market. Consumers also expressed a preference for shopping services that included paying with a mobile phone and managing personal finances.
The report identified seven factors critical to the success of new services, including instant access everywhere, as users expected to have access to a range of services on demand and in real time, and the ability to customise to suit an individual's own lifestyle.
In addition, people were looking for services that assisted productivity, such as managing and co-ordinating their schedules, and which enhanced togetherness by keeping them in touch with family and friends.
Control was another important factor, with people seeking to keep track of various aspects of their lives – spending, data usage, information updates – and free time for more enjoyable activity, as was location-based information relevant to where they were at any given moment.
Paradoxically, consumers also wanted services that helped them switch off and get away from an "always on" mentality.
Ericsson ConsumerLab tested several new service concepts in the focus groups in all the markets and found that 69% showed interest in shared data plans – or having one monthly bill and one connection for all devices to be used anywhere and anytime and between family members.
Other concepts that appealed included smart subscriptions (59%), which offered an overview of subscriptions and actual usage in one place and the ability to pay for them with one account.
A monitor and modify service appealed to 54%, creating a complete picture of monthly spending and acting as a tool for managing household finances at the same time as allowing the user to store usernames and passwords for all services and online shops.
Location-based updates (52%) and media recommendations (48%) also received positive feedback.
Data sourced from Ericsson; additional content by Warc staff