Report: Mobile losing ground to smart speakers

Mobiles are the fastest growing device for ecommerce payments, privacy concerns are growing, and consumers are sceptical about the benefits of 5G

Mobiles are the fastest growing device for ecommerce payments, privacy concerns are growing, and consumers are sceptical about the benefits of 5G, a new survey has found.

Deloitte’s latest Mobile Consumer Survey has revealed up to 84 per cent of respondents said they were not prepared to pay the $15 premium operators are proposing for 5G, indicating telcos need to better communicate the value of the upgrade to consumers.

Yet mobiles are the fastest growing device for ecommerce payments, according to the survey, with 24 per cent of respondents now using their mobile as their preferred device for online purchases, overtaking desktop computers for the first time. Mobile is however, starting to lose ground in the connected home as voice-assisted speakers, which have seen a 51 per cent increase in estimated penetration.

Deloitte consulting partner, Kate Huggins, said the 25-34 year old age group is leading the pack for adopting mobile as the preferred device for online purchases, with more women using it than men.

“The top three purchases from our devices are tickets for events, travel or holiday purchases and clothing. But we’re not just buying online – mobile is becoming increasingly popular in-store with the rise of ‘tap and go’ payment options, fuelled by biometric functionality. Fifty eight per cent of respondents have used their mobile as an in-store payment method, up from 26 per cent last year.”

Deloitte’s 2019 Privacy Index meanwhile, indicated 65 per cent of consumers cite trust as their number one consideration when granting an app permission to access personal information. However, only 13 per cent of respondents did not share personal information, such as their address, photos and health metrics with companies online, with 52 per cent of respondents having used privacy enhancing applications and 89 per cent at some point having denied an app access to location, photos, contacts, or other mobile phone features.

Mobile still holds the reins on music, gaming and short-form video consumption too. At the same time, it is also gaining ground in long-form content with 27 per cent of respondents streaming films or TV series at least once a week, up fivefold from 5 per cent in 2015.

 “While data privacy concerns continue to grow, we’re seeing devices continue to evolve their security features to zero-in on a person’s identity,” Huggins said. 

“Fingerprints and facial recognition methods have significantly increased. Twelve per cent of Australians are now using facial recognition to unlock their phones, and 40 per cent use fingerprints. The use of fingerprints to authorise purchases and money transfers is also increasing, and is highest in the 18-24 and 25-34 age brackets, growing to 23 per cent and 25 per cent respectively over the last two years. 

“As more of our personal lives are captured in our mobile phones, the more we care about keeping them private.”

Consumers are also holding onto their devices for longer, forcing manufacturers to continue raising the bar and turning to innovation in a bid to pique consumer interest. 

Consumers are owning their smartphones around 3.5 years on average, up from three years in 2017, with around 50 per cent of consumers on a smartphone that was launched in 2016 or earlier. Ownership of wearables like smart watches and fitness bands are on the rise, up 43 per cent over the past five years. 

When it comes to consumer’s lack of interest in 5G, Deloitte partner and national telecommunications lead, Peter Corbett, said 5G is a feature most people simply don’t understand.

“We have seen a drop in the hype consumers are experiencing with 5 per cent fewer people looking to switch to 5G when it’s available or upon hearing good things in 2019 vs 2018. We are probably entering a period of disillusionment with the technology until it becomes clearer for consumers on how 5G will improve their day-to-day lives,” he said. 

Read more: What the 5G revolution will do to mobile marketing

The Mobile Consumer Survey, now in its sixth year in Australia, is a multi-country study of mobile phone users around the world. The 2019 study comprises more than 44,150 responses across 28 countries. Australian findings are based on a nationally representative sample of over 2000 consumers aged 18 to 75, polled online during June 2019.

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