Two-thirds of Americans now have smartphones and one-quarter have mobile tablets. Whereas consumers used to interact with one device (such as a desktop computer) they’re now interacting with multiple devices at a time. Researchers are now speaking of “second screen behaviors” and other ways of categorizing consumers’ changing digital behaviors.
In the past, consumers would purchase a television that would last for ten years. Now, the product life cycle for mobile phones is about 18 months. Consumers want new products not only faster, but also cheaper – without sacrificing the latest features and technology. Fast purchase cycles, combined with development cost pressure, is putting enormous burdens on digital product developers.
The recommendation of a friend on a social media site is emerging as a greater influence on consumers than traditional advertising. Additionally, traditional word of mouth is having a greater impact on certain digital services, such as mobile games. Word of mouth is the channel through which 60 percent of users hear about mobile games.
Consumers in the digital space skew younger and this demographic has grown up in the digital age. They not only want but also expect a steady flow of faster, better and cheaper technology. The costs of many consumer electronics products have come down in recent years in response to savvy, discerning consumers.