Consumers in China are well prepared for a future where data-driven machine intelligence powers conversation between consumers and brands, according to a new report.

Research firm Forrester surveyed 110,460 online adults in 20 countries to see how people embrace technology and reported that “digital conversations are already more integrated with task coordination in China than in other markets we study”.

The authors of the report, The Metropolitan Chinese Consumer Tech Stack, noted that while China’s path of technology development has been different to that of many other countries, there are the same four basic evolutionary forces at work: tools, co-ordination, conversation and emotion.

Thus almost all metropolitan Chinese online adults carry a smartphone which allows “rapid, leapfrogging acceleration in the uptake of wearable devices and other smart technology”.

And enabled by these tools, they become more likely to co-ordinate tasks with the help of technology. The report observed that 50% of respondents already preferred to use smartphones to purchase physical goods, while the smartphone was by far the most popular device to pay bills.

‘Conversation’ has taken a very different turn in China, where state restrictions have led to the development of a range of local social media platforms offering a range of features, including payments, location sharing and e-commerce.

As a result, not only are metropolitan Chinese online consumers more advanced in using technology to interact with brands than consumers in other regions, this state of affairs is now the norm.

According to Forrester, 90% of those consumers it classified as Progressive Pioneers already ask for support online at least weekly; and 75% use social networks or tools to connect with representatives of their favourite brands with the same frequency.

Finally, the authors observed that as technologies change, the feelings they engender also change; and at the same time, those feelings help shape how technology is being used. Its Chinese respondents, the study said, are using tech “as a way of keeping up with or getting ahead of the changes in their environments”.

Sourced from Forrester; additional content by WARC staff