According to the fourth annual Deloitte “Connected Consumer” survey, conducted in 2023, nearly half of households in the United States purchased at least one new connected device in the past year. Of those, 16% added three or more devices to their households. However, despite the increase in device purchases, the average number of connected devices in households actually decreased from 25 devices in 2021 to 21 devices in 2023. This suggests that consumers are streamlining their devices and getting rid of obsolete or less-useful ones while still acquiring new ones that better fit their needs.
The survey also reveals that managing tech devices has become a source of frustration for many consumers. 41% of respondents dislike managing their devices, while 28% find it overwhelming to manage their devices and subscriptions. This highlights the need for tech companies to provide better support and user-friendly interfaces to make managing devices easier for consumers.
One notable change observed in the survey is the increased preference for hybrid work among employees. The number of respondents who expressed a preference for hybrid work increased by 7 percentage points compared to the previous year. The main benefits cited by respondents include better relationships with family and coworkers, as well as improved health and well-being. This indicates that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a lasting impact on work preferences and that businesses need to adapt to accommodate the demands of a hybrid workforce.
The survey also highlights the growing satisfaction with virtual health visits. People who have experienced virtual health visits express a preference for virtual or hybrid options in the future, particularly for psychological health and chronic conditions. This demonstrates the increasing acceptance and adoption of telehealth services, which provide convenience and accessibility to healthcare.
Parents also see the positives of connected devices for their children. They report that these devices enhance learning, enable new experiences, and help keep kids organized. However, parents also express concerns about potential harms and have set boundaries on their children’s digital behaviors.
One of the most significant findings of the survey is the increasing concerns about security. 58% of surveyed consumers worry that their devices are vulnerable to security breaches, and an equal percentage worry about being tracked through their devices. This highlights the importance of companies and technology providers prioritizing the security and privacy of their products and services.
Overall, the Deloitte “Connected Consumer” survey provides valuable insights into consumer sentiment and behavior regarding digital devices and technology. Despite the complexities and potential drawbacks, consumers demonstrate resilience and adaptability while also calling for more support from tech companies to innovate and secure their digital experiences.
Paul Silverglate, the Vice Chair of Deloitte LLP and U.S. Technology Sector Leader, recognizes the evolving needs of consumers and emphasizes the opportunities for companies to respond and innovate. He believes that consumers are learning to use technology more wisely, carefully selecting devices with a purpose to foster digital harmony.
The survey also sheds light on the ways in which people integrate digital technologies into their lives. It captures the reliance on technology for remote work, virtual education, virtual healthcare, fitness, communication, and entertainment. As technology continues to shape our lives, it is important for businesses to align with human needs, provide seamless and productive experiences, and drive connectedness in a digitally transformed world.
In conclusion, the Deloitte “Connected Consumer” survey reveals that consumers are streamlining their devices, seeking a balance between digital and physical lives. They are selective in their technology spending and demand innovation, safety, and utility in a connected world. The survey also highlights concerns about managing devices, security breaches, and the need for support from tech companies. Despite these challenges, consumers demonstrate resilience and adaptability, creating opportunities for companies to respond and innovate. With the rapid advancement of technology, businesses must prioritize the integration of human needs, provide seamless experiences, and drive a more connected future.