A report from Ericsson ConsumerLab shows that the boundaries between work and personal life, and between being at home and outdoors are blurring in the way consumers use their mobile devices. People tend to switch screens (devices) to access services and content across different locations, regardless of time and place.
Interestingly, this tendency to perform diverse tasks irrespective of location – be it indoors at home, work, school or outdoors while commuting – is consistently seen across all the 23 countries studied.
Vishnu Singh, Director at Ericsson ConsumerLab, says: "Our research shows that 12 percent of the working population who use the internet shop online at work several times a week, and 23 percent perform work-related tasks in the evening. Another important observation is that when the number of locations where people carry out tasks increases, so does the number of screens they use."
For instance, 21 percent of consumers who use social networking in one location switch screens. This number rises to 44 percent for those who use social networking in at least three locations.
As a result of people spending a major part of their time indoors – at a ratio of 7:1 indoors versus outdoors – this is the place where most of them prefer to connect. Typically, activities such as watching TV and videos, working or studying, and shopping online are performed indoors.
"Consumers have a strong preference for indoor connectivity," Singh says. "Despite rating their experience highly, consumers are still willing to invest in improving indoor connectivity. Around 56 percent of consumers are keen to spend more on improving indoor connectivity, whereas only 33 percent are willing to do the same for outdoors."
Access to and availability of different types of technology and connectivity differs across countries, which is likely to impact device usage and behavior. However, the current study highlights the globalization of consumer behavior in the digital sphere.
The study shows that a large proportion of consumers browse the internet and use social networks and instant messaging, while few shop online or use video calls. For example, 89 percent of consumers in Brazil, Canada and the US browse the internet; 83 percent access social networks in Argentina and Uruguay; and 77 percent check e-mails in Denmark, Germany, Italy, Russia and the UK on a weekly basis, on any device.
To sum it up, there is evidence that consumers’ location has little impact on their usage habits in terms of services and devices. Instead, consumers place a higher value on the freedom to use digital devices how and when they want, to meet their needs and requirements.