Every marketer works tirelessly to create increasingly fascinating, friction-free and functional digital experiences for the consumer.  Yet if you are frustrated by the device you use for doing things online, that frustration can also rub off on the brand providing the digital experience.

Acquia has conducted in-depth research in conjunction with technology research specialist, Vanson Bourne. The resulting full research report, “Is Technology Developing Too Fast for Consumers? What does this mean for my business?” examines a number of areas and issues concerning how devices are being used by consumers, how often and what it all means for marketers, digital experts and the brands they’re responsible for.

With wearables now established in the ecommerce space, we wanted to identify the steps they constitute in a consumer’s purchase journey, as well as identify the problems that consumers might experience using them.

The key findings in this area are:

  • Wearable technology is establishing itself as an important method for buying, with owners using them for the pre-purchase (66 percent), purchase (58 percent) and post-purchase (58 percent) stages
  • PCs and laptops are the most trusted devices for purchases, with 97 percent using them for at least parts of the buying journey
  • Devices in general are most likely to be used in the evening and at home, while smartphones and wearable technology are most likely to be used in the morning.

One other area that was examined was that of how consumers access and spend time enjoying a variety of entertainment with their devices. The responses reveal some surprising habits when it comes to consuming and sharing digital entertainment.

Let’s start with some context: it’s been found that an average of eight hours of media are being watched, listened to and played daily. Digital consumption of apps, films, TV boxsets, games, music, magazines or books is different according to whether the media is free or paid for.  For example, just under half of people (48%) have downloaded free entertainment vs. a third (34%) for paid-for media.  That’s not much of a gap, suggesting that we are happy to pay for entertainment if we really enjoy spending our free time reading, watching, playing or listening to it.  When it comes to any differences by gender, men are slightly more likely to download free content and purchased entertainment (51% and 38%), than women (46% and 29%).

By far the most surprising finding from the research was the lack of interest in sharing and recommending entertainment downloads.  Only 19% of people share their entertainment choices with others and 17% of consumers said they recommend what they download.  Could this be down to a disconnect in the customer experience between watching or playing media and the ability to recommend it?  With the availability and relatively affordable range of web-based plugins on the market, I would advise brands to consider investing more budget and resource in this area as a short-term project.  It would encourage ‘shareability’ in direct and easy-to-track ways, allowing everyone concerned to reap the benefits.

What about the power of mobile devices to enrich our entertainment experiences?  This is highly relevant for brands right now, because the early part of a new year is when most people plan and book their entertainment choices and events with friends and family. We discovered that nearly two-thirds (62%) of people use their smartphones and tablets to research entertainment and other media they’re interested in, like apps, books, films, cinema and games.

As you’d expect, mobile usage is highest amongst 16-24 year olds (74%), but it’s still a popular with half of over 65s doing the same.  Somewhat surprisingly, only 21% of people have used their connected device to post on social media during a live event, like a concert, sports event or festival.

Enjoying entertainment has become, just like social media, an indispensable form of escape from our everyday lives. The innovation in technology and availability of mobile broadband services combine to deliver exciting content that is accessible 24/7.  As a result, entertainment providers are under more pressure to give consumers experiences that will delight, as well as the way and means to access a thriving community of like-minded individuals to share it all with.  Watch this space, there is still more to do!


Martyn Eley

Martyn Eley


Martyn Eley, Vice President for EMEA at Acquia