App Happy Australia: Technology & the Digital Intergrators
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App Happy Australia: Technology & the Digital Intergrators

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This research shows that while many of the Baby Boomers own smartphones and use apps, the way they use new technologies is more sequential, structural, linear and practical than the younger......

This research shows that while many of the Baby Boomers own smartphones and use apps, the way they use new technologies is more sequential, structural, linear and practical than the younger generations. The over 40’s can be described as Digital Transactors, using the latest tools to transact, as with any tool, and after the function is performed, putting it back down or replacing an older tool with a newer, more functional one. However the Under 30’s, having been shaped in a digital, wireless, online world, have embedded these tools more into their lifestyles. The technologies are seamlessly integrated into their lives- it has almost become an extension of them, always on, and integrated into all aspects of their life. They are the digital integrators.

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  • 1. Introduction:The smartphone has become the one device to rule them all, as a new generation of digital integrators have streamlined their appliances and utilities into theone portable gadget. In October 2012 McCrindle Research surveyed 710 Australians and discovered the full extent to which apps have penetrated our world.From checking the weather, to comparing prices, from use as a torch to calorie counting, the humble mobile phone has never had so many uses.The dominance of the smartphone as the primary device for the Under 30’s as a clock, alarm, navigation tool, camera and for news updates has been aphenomenon. Keep in mind the smartphone has only been around for 5 years and yet through apps, it has become integrated into our lifestyles, not just as acommunications tool, but as an essential tool for many daily tasks.Meet the Digital Integrators:This research shows that while many of the Baby Boomers own smartphones and use apps, the way they use new technologies is more sequential,structural, linear and practical than the younger generations. The over 40’s can be described as Digital Transactors, using the latest tools to transact, as withany tool, and after the function is performed, putting it back down or replacing an older tool with a newer, more functional one. However the Under 30’s,having been shaped in a digital, wireless, online world, have embedded these tools more into their lifestyles. The technologies are seamlessly integrated intotheir lives- it has almost become an extension of them, always on, and integrated into all aspects of their life. They are the digital integrators.Methodology:This research was based on a national survey of 715 Australians. Respondents who completed the survey were selected through Australia Speaks,McCrindle Research’s research-only panel hosted by Cint, an aggregated panel which has 60,000 active members in Australia. This survey was managedthrough Qualtrics, a world leader in online research infrastructure. For a full demographical breakdown of respondents, refer to the table at the completion ofthis report.
  • 2. Apps by generations:It’s no surprise that the younger generations not only have more apps, but use these more regularly. Gen Ys had double the apps of the Baby Boomers, witha quarter of this younger generation using 50% of these on a regular basis. However, there is certainly an excess of apps going unused. 25% of Gen Ysused less than 10% of their apps, compared to 38% of Gen Xs and a 62% of Baby Boomers. Generation Y Generation X Baby Boomers 20 (median) 15 (median) 12 (median) 24% regularly use 50% of their apps or more. 19% regularly use 50% of their apps or more. 11% regularly use 50% of their apps or more. What percentage of these apps do you regularly use? All respondents 90 -100% 3% 80 - 90% 2% 70 - 80% 3% 60 - 70% 2% 50 - 60% 6% 40 - 50% 6% 30 - 40% 6% 20 - 30% 10% 10 - 20% 12% 0 -10% 51%
  • 3. At the time of completing the survey online, over 50% of respondents had used at least one smartphone app that day, and for Gen Y, this figure rosedramatically to 78% (compared to 65% of Generation Xes and 37% of Baby Boomers). Indeed, 1 in 10 Generation Ys had used 10 or more apps that day. How many apps have you used already today from your smartphone or tablet? (e.g. weather, news, time, text, games, search, social media platforms, web browsers etc). 11 + 4% 10 2% 9 1% 8 2% 7 2% 6 4% 5 6% 4 7% 3 5% 2 9% 1 9% 0 50%One Device: a multitude of purposesThe smartphone has become the one device to rule them all. The new tribe of digital integrators have streamlined many appliances and utilities into the oneportable device. Where once individuals owned watches, a GPS and their own individual camera, smartphones have infiltrated our world to the extent that wenow rely almost entirely on our phone for all our technological needs.A timely device:Wrist watches are a fashion in decline as 50% of Gen Ys say that they only rarely or never wear a watch, compared to 48% of Gen Xes and 38% of Boomers.When it comes to setting an alarm, a whopping 71% of Gen Ys use their smart phone, compared to 51% of Gen Xs and 26% of Boomers. Not surprisingly,Telstra have recently axed their wake-up call service, due to minimal demand in this smartphone era.
  • 4. What do you use as a clock/alarm? Gen Y Gen X Baby BoomersBedside alarm clock 17% 40% 58%Watch as alarm clock 4% 4% 4% 71% 51%Smartphone 25% Primary device Primary deviceFemales were also more likely to use a smart phone than an alarm clock or watch, with 42% doing so compared to 37% of males.iPhoto, therefore I am.It’s no surprise that instagram is seeing such phenomenal growth when you consider the high resolution cameras built into smartphones. This is especiallytrue among the younger generations, with 55% of Gen Ys indicating that they mostly use their smartphone as a camera, compared to 36% of Generation Xs.A quarter of Boomers (24%) most regularly used their smartphone camera, and even 1 in 10 over the age of 66 used this medium to regularly snap photos.Indeed, a growing trend is to purchase iphone camera ‘add ons’. Ranging from devices that allow you to print instagram photos as Polaroids, right through toportable lenses that allow you to take panoramic photos, these additional devices will only further the trend of solely relying on a phone as a camera. What do you use as a camera? Gen Y Gen X Baby Boomers Video camera 3% 3.9% 3.6% Digital camera 30% 47.5% 59.6% SLR Camera 9% 10.1% 7.3% Smartphone 55% 35.8% 25% Primary Device
  • 5. NavigationThe humble street directory may soon go the way of the encyclopaedia, with fewer than 1 in 5 Gen Ys using this as a navigation tool. However, the sameamount of this generation used an in-car GPS system with a strong majority opting to use their smart phone instead. Gen X were more comfortable usingtheir GPS system, while Boomers still preferred the hard copy directory. While it makes sense that fewer Gen Ys would be using a hard-copy street directory,an interesting reality is that most of the younger generation will also pass up a GPS systems in favour of their phone, showing again their complete integrationof just one device into their lives. What do you use for navigation? Gen Y Gen X Baby Boomers Street Directory 18% 28% 46% Navman or in-car GPS device 18% 34% 34% Smartphone 57% 36% 12% Primary device Primary deviceWeatherWith the demise of print media in Australia, it is clear Australians are looking to alternative media sources to check things like the news, weather, televisionguide and movie guide. This study found just 2% of Generation Ys and Xs use a hard copy newspaper to check the weather, with just 1 in 20 Boomers doingso. While the TV and internet were still relatively used, 1 in 2 Gen Ys will most commonly use their smartphone to track the weather. What do you use to check the weather? Gen Y Gen X Baby Boomers Newspaper 2% 2% 5% Television 14% 23% 40%
  • 6. Radio 1% 4% 7% Internet (via computer) 30% 32% 34% 50% 36% Smartphone 13% Primary device Primary deviceNews reportsFor breaking news, the smartphone has also become the primary device for the under 40’s compared to all other media forms. If there was breaking news, or you wanted a news update, where would you go first? 2% Newspaper or magazine 4% TV - evening news 22% Radio - news update 10% Online - to news website 62% Social media - to look at a news feed or trending topicsEven when filtered by generation, very few Baby Boomers or even Builders relied on traditional media to meet their content needs. In fact, over half of everygeneration relied on online news for breaking stories, with 1 in 10 Gen Ys now utilising social media instead.
  • 7. If there was breaking news or you wanted a news update, where would you go first? Gen Y Gen X Baby Boomer Builder Newspaper or magazine 3% 1% 2% 1% TV - evening news 14% 19% 28% 26% Radio - news update 5% 8% 12% 14% Online - to news website 68% 67% 55% 58% Social media - to look at a news feed or trending topics 10% 5% 2% 1%Digital Integrators Showrooming: a growing trendThis research indicates a new category of technology user, The Digital Integrator. In the past, the younger Over 1 in 4 (27%) of Australians have entered model numbersgenerations have been termed “Digital Natives” due to their instinctive use of technological products, but or item details to compare prices online.with the advent of smartphones, a huge proportion of Generations Y and Z now fall into the category of 16.5% have used a scanner or barcode app to check whetherdigital integrators. Having being exposed to digital technology from their early formative years, they have a cheaper price is available.integrated it seamlessly into their lives via the one device, compared to older Australians - the digital 1 in 5 (21.4%) have accessed consumer blogs or discussionstransactors, who use different technologies in functional, structural ways, like tools which they pick up to use while out shopping.and then put back down again after use. For the Digital Integrator, leaving one’s phone at home is not anoption, with this device holding the same importance as one’s wallet or house keys. Indeed with new 43% have taken a photo of an item to get the opinion of familycontactless payment systems the phone is now a credit card; and for many, it’s used as a remote to replace or friendstheir keys as well. Nearly a third (32%) have taken a photo of an item to see if they can find it, or a similar item, for cheaper online.
  • 8. Showrooming: Use of smartphones while shopping While retailers are concerned with the advent of online shopping, another threat to traditional retail outlets is customers using their smartphones while in-store to go online to compare prices, check reviews and consult with family and friends. This behaviour is particularly prevalent among the younger generations, though interesting many over the age of 66 (the Builder generation) have also engaged in this behaviour. When asked whether they have ever used their smartphone or tablet device when out shopping to do a number of “showrooming” activities, Australians proved to be actively using their devices to save money. The table below shows the breakdown of showrooming activities across the generations.Generation: All Gen Y Do this Have done Total have ever Potentially will this Have done Total have Potentially willIncidence of activity: Do this often often before done Christmas before ever done this ChristmasEnter model numbers or item details to 8% 18% 26% 39% 15% 31% 46% 61%compare prices onlineUse a scanner/barcode app to check 4% 12% 16% 32% 8% 23% 31% 48%whether a cheaper price is availableAccess consumer blogs or discussions 6% 16% 21% 30% 14% 29% 42% 58%Take photo of item to get opinion from 13% 29% 43% 46% 20% 41% 61% 65%friends/familyTake photo of item to see if I can find it, 9% 22% 32% 43% 15% 33% 48% 60%or a similar product, for cheaper onlineIncidence of activity: Gen X Baby Boomers
  • 9. Enter model numbers or item details to Total have ever Total have Do this Have done Potentially will this Have done Potentially willcompare prices online done Do this often ever done often before Christmas before this ChristmasEnter model numbers or item details to 11% 22% 33% 48% 6% 13% 19% 30%compare prices onlineUse a scanner/barcode app to check 5% 12% 17% 41% 2% 9% 11% 24%whether a cheaper price is availableAccess consumer blogs or discussions 7% 22% 29% 39% 1% 9% 11% 18%Take photo of item to get opinion from 19% 37% 56% 60% 9% 25% 34% 35%friends/familyTake photo of item to see if I can find it, 13% 29% 41% 55% 6% 18% 24% 36%or a similar product, for cheaper online
  • 10. Spend by Generation:Generation Y = Savvy shoppers Fascinatingly, 1 in 5 (20%) of Gen Ys will spend more thisGeneration Y was particularly savvy when it came to using their devices in-store. Nearly half (46%) had Christmas than last. They look to be far more extravagant thanused their device to enter model numbers or compare prices, 3 in 10 (31%) had used a scanner or barcode their parents, the Baby Boomers, with just 5% of this cohortapp to check whether a cheaper price was available, over 2 in 5 (42%) had accessed a consumer blog or looking to spend more. Here social researcher, Markdiscussion online while shopping, 3 in 5 (61%) had taken a photo of an item to get opinion from family or McCrindle, provides comment:friends, and 48% had taken a photo to see if they could find a similar item for cheaper online! “Generation Y has more expendable cash than theirThe majority of Generation Y will potentially (definitely, probably or perhaps) compare prices while parents at this stage of their lives. With new census datashopping in-store (61%) this Christmas and take a photo with their smartphone to check online later showing 21% of families have adult children living at home,(60%). many of this generation can avoid the rising costs of rent, utilities and groceries and so have more room when itCheapskate Christmas: comes to Christmas shopping.”With 87% of Australians planning to spend the same or less than they did last Christmas, it’s no surprise Indeed the Baby Boomers were the generation most likelythat many showrooming behaviors look set to become commonplace during the festive retail rush. 2 in 5 to save this festive season, with 1 in 3 (33%) planning on(39%) Australians indicated it was possible they would use their smartphone or tablet to enter model cutting costs this Christmas.numbers or compare prices online this Christmas, while nearly 1 in 3 (32%) would use a scanner orbarcode app to check whether a cheaper price was available. “Many Baby Boomers now belong to what we call the Sandwich Generation. With adult kids still at home, and3 in 10 would access a consumer blog while shopping, while 46% would take a photo of an item to get their ageing parents needing some support, the Boomersopinion from family and friends and 43% would take a photo to see if they could find the item cheaper have become the nation’s carers…financially, practicallyonline. and emotionally. It’s therefore no wonder they are concerned about costs at this expensive time of the year.”
  • 11. Overall do you plan on spending more or less money on Christmas this year compared to last year? A lot more 2% A bit more 9% About the same 60% A bit less 16% A lot less 13%A diversity of functions:When asked “What is the most unusual thing you use your smartphone for these days?” respondents provided a rich diversity of different functions. While themost common use was as a torch, to play games, for exercise and health, banking and cooking, respondents also used their phone as a metronome, to tracktheir pregnancy, to scan barcodes when shopping, and entertainingly, to take photos of themselves when bored!
  • 12. About this Study: The research supporting this summary was conducted by McCrindle Research through a national study of Australians which received 696completed surveys. For comment, please contact Mark McCrindle on 0411 5000 90 or Francesca Dalton on 02 8824 3422. Alternatively email:francesca@mccrindle.com.au. IN DEPTH – Survey Respondents: DEMOGRAPHICS This survey # This survey % National % of population aged 18-100 AGE 18-32 152 21% GEN Y 27% 32-45 183 26% GEN X 27% 46-65 225 32% BOOMERS 29% 66+ 153 21% BUILDERS 17% TOTAL: 713 100% 100% STATE NT 5 1% 1% ACT 12 2% 1.60%
  • 13. TAS 15 2% 2.30% SA 86 12% 7.30% WA 54 8% 10.40% QLD 145 20% 20.30% VIC 154 22% 24.90%NSW 239 34% 32.20%TOTAL 710 100% 100% GENDER Male 396 55% 50%Female 319 45% 50%TOTAL 715 100% 100%