The past two years have been among the most impactful in recent history. The impacts of the Covid 19 pandemic have changed the way people interact with technology in their day-to-day lives. Homes have been at the center of the transition as people have reverted to their living spaces throughout the majority of the pandemic. Even beyond the end of the pandemic, virtual work and other digital trends have managed to become a significant aspect of daily lives.
The transformation of homes has changed the way consumers interact with technology and products. DIF has researched homes around the globe to explore emerging trends in the domestic segment to have an understanding of how perception towards homes is shifting.
Increasing Digital Adoption With Demand
From online shopping to video meetings, digital adoption is significantly increasing across most consumer segments. Stemming from initial consumer interactions out of necessity during the pandemic, digital adoption trends are continuing to accelerate despite the reopening of the pandemic.
The telehealth sector has been a prime example of transforming trends within the US. The utilization of telehealth services within the country increased by 100% within a single year of the pandemic. A key positive in the US landscape has been the technological adoption by ignored demographics within the country. Conventionally adopted by younger, tech-savvy individuals, the pandemic expanded technology adoption to segments that were previously reluctant to adopt digital solutions.
Key Trends in the Digital Home Segment
The transformation in global working dynamics has led to the creation of an entirely new normal. Across homes around the world, the following learning insights have emerged from the pandemic.
Increased Digital Interactions
Repeated lockdowns around the world have forced people to increase digital entertainment consumption. Internet and television consumption has significantly increased since the start of the pandemic as people stay at home and work in the same environments.
However, the always-connected environment is also leading to increased instances of fatigue for employees. 40% of respondents in the DIF study mentioned concerns regarding mental health and working at home. Work-life balance emerged a significant concern for the majority of respondents inquired during the study.
Expansive Digital Ecosystems
In contrast to digital connectivity before the pandemic expressed an inclination to adopt ecosystem products to support their technical requirements. The digital home phenomenon was linked to the utilization of products from specific companies. 27% of respondents shared that they purchased additional ecosystem products to support their digital requirements. Common products included home assistance, monitoring systems, additional smartphones, and laptop computers.
Importance of Reliable Digital Connectivity
The Covid 19 pandemic played a significant role in enhancing broadband connectivity around the country. Households embraced the importance of reliable internet connections, with over 62% of respondents expressing preferences for reliability over connectivity speed. The majority of customer issues in the connectivity segment were also centered around connectivity issues.
Remote working was a key factor in amplifying the importance of reliable internet connectivity. As individuals continue to expand home working avenues, reliable internet connectivity has become the most important tool to deliver working requirements.
The learning outcomes from the study provide a guideline structure for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to shift to reliable service providers. With customers willing to change their providers for more reliable options, it is important for companies to improve their dependability.
Speed was also a significant factor, but ISPs need to reevaluate customer preferences to center their services around reliability instead of maintaining speed-centered marketing directives.
Advantages of 5G Connectivity – A New Dimension
5G mobile providers are emerging as a viable alternative to established broadband providers. With consumers experiencing faster speeds and lower latency compared to conventional broadband solutions, 5G connectivity is sparking the next generation of mobile connectivity. Aggressive 5G rollout is making it an integral tool to disrupt broadband connectivity and provide a viable alternative to consumers.
5G companies need to focus on communication by clarifying value propositions and dispelling existing myths in the broader market. Providers also have to solve the challenge of cutting through technical verbiage to showcase key value propositions to customers.
Exploring the Pathway Forward for Streaming Companies
Even before the pandemic, conventional video ecosystems were under significant threat from streaming services. However, the pandemic has opened the doors for an unprecedented transformation in the video streaming segment. Backed by an expansive content collection and a smoother digital experience, streaming platforms have managed to capture the bulk of conventional audiences through streamlined solution deployment.
Based on the evaluation by DIF, over 50% of respondents shared that streaming is their primary method of digital entertainment. 65% of respondents believed that streaming offers better value for money.
As the streaming shift towards the sports television market, consumers are finding themselves in the optimal landscape to shift away from televisions. The aggressive growth of the industry is leading to a highly competitive landscape between leading players in the industry. Aside from trendsetters in the industry, new entrants are also disrupting the industry with aggressive approaches towards content rights.
Pricing competitions and exclusive content offerings have emerged as central areas of competition between streaming giants. DIF anticipates the persistence of the streaming competitive as industry giants attempt to aggregate content and expand viewership. Pay-TV providers are also entering the streaming market by integrating streaming options into their existing content bundles. The maturity of the market is also transforming the focus from customer acquisition to lifetime customer value. Subscriber retention is becoming the most important variable in today’s competitive landscape.
Customer attitudes towards technology have significantly changed since the beginning of the pandemic. Digital adoption has reached unprecedented rates, with streaming services, telehealth applications, and self-care channels emerging as key areas. Internet connectivity services have become more important than ever as consumers shift to remote working. DIF anticipates a clear requirement for privacy and management solutions to create safe customer experiences centered around quality experiences. Mental health solutions will also take center stage as consumers experience burnout from technology utilization.