Study shows younger consumers are more influenced by social media
Of the 10,000 global “connected consumers” A.T. Kearney surveyed for their latest report, more than half say they’re connected to the internet from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed.
But as the study’s title points out, “Connected Consumers Are Not Created Equal“. We do all start out on some common ground. We all go online to satisfy one (or more) of four basic needs: interpersonal connection, self-expression, exploration, and convenience.
In the US, exploration and convenience come out on top. We like instant access to products and services, information and directions. Expressing opinions lands at the bottom of the list. In China, Nigeria, and India, self-expression is one of the main reasons people go online. In China, India and Brazil, the ability to express themselves creatively is extremely important.
How are we spending all of this online time? Most of it is being spent on social networks. Here again, you can see the countries that really view the internet as a way of communicating and expressing their opinions. Here in the US, we’re a few points below the global average for time spent on social.
If you’re looking for the big spenders, Germany and Japan have the highest percentage of shoppers.
Even though we’re all spending most of our internet time on social media, those networks aren’t as influential as you would expect.
Take a look at these social media numbers. Globally, younger consumers are more likely to base their buying decisions on information they learned through their social networks. This could be recommendations from friends or brand messages. As the age range rises, social media’s impact grows smaller and smaller.
The study also points out that simply having a social media account isn’t the same as being active on a social media account. Here in the US, 53% of those surveyed said they had a Google+ account but only 13% considered themselves active on the site. 37% have Twitter but only 9% log on everyday. Overall, not counting Facebook active percentages are in the teens in the US.
China is another story. Active social media participation percentages are in the 40% range. And if you think Facebook has social media locked up here in the US, China’s QZone has nearly 100% participation, 80% saying their very active and 68% logging in daily. China’s second and third largest social networks beat our 2nd and 3rd contenders by a mile.
The A.T. Kearney survey has a lot more to say about how consumers around the globe use the internet. If you’re doing business around the world, you should add it to your weekend reading list. You’ll find it here and it’s completely free.