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Forrester Research Assesses The State Of Consumer Technology Adoption

Survey Of Nearly 67,000 North American Households Evaluates Technology Use Across Five Generations

Eighteen-to 26-year-old Gen Yers are integrating technology into their daily lives at a faster rate than any other generation, according to Forrester Research, Inc.’s (Nasdaq: FORR) North American Consumer Technology Adoption Study 2006 Benchmark Survey of 66,707 US and Canadian households. This study, now in its ninth year, is the largest and longest-running study of its kind. It evaluates technology adoption and its impact on consumer behavior, attitudes, and services, including Internet, mobile phones, marketing, media, financial services, travel, and government. The resulting report includes a five-year forecast of 15 devices and technologies, and it incorporates comparative data from 2000 to 2005.

According to the study, Gen Yers spend 12.2 hours online every week — 28 percent longer than 27- to 40-year-old Gen Xers and almost twice as long as 51- to 61-year-old Older Boomers. Gen Yers are also much more likely to engage in Social Computing activities while online. For example, they are 50 percent more likely than Gen Xers to send instant messages, twice as likely to read blogs, and three times as likely to use social networking sites like MySpace.

“All generations adopt devices and Internet technologies, but younger consumers are Net natives who spend more time online than watching television,” said Forrester Research Vice President and co-author of the report Ted Schadler. “Younger generations live online, reading blogs, downloading podcasts, checking prices before buying, and trading recommendations.”

Forrester Research Principal Analyst and co-author Charles S. Golvin added: “Young consumers are also advanced users of mobile data services. That means marketers can reach this mobile audience by adopting new channels like blogs, podcasts, and the mobile Web. Among the best news for brand owners and marketers is the fact that young consumers are much more receptive to advertising than the older generations.”

With more than 950 data points and data on 386 consumer brands, the report, entitled “The State Of Consumers And Technology: Benchmark 2006,” offers Forrester clients valuable consumer data for market research, product planning, and go-to-market strategy assessments. Sample data points include:

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  • Forty-one percent of North American households now have broadband Internet access at home — up from 29 percent at the end of 2004.
  • Seventy-five percent of North American households have mobile phones, and almost half of them make the bulk of their long-distance phone calls on these mobile phones.
  • Forty-five percent of Gen Yers, 27 percent of Gen Xers, and 17 percent of 41- to 50-year-old Younger Boomers who have a mobile phone use it for data services, led by text messaging, ring tones, and games.
  • Cross-channel shopping continues to grow. Gen Yers, for example, are 73 percent more likely to research online and shop offline today than they were in 2004.
  • Ninety-one percent of online households use a search engine once a week or more. For online Gen Yers and Gen Xers, Google attracts 62 percent of searchers, and 25 percent limit their searches to only Google.
  • Seventy-eight percent of online Gen Yers and 61 percent of online Seniors aged 62 and up book or research travel online.

The full report is available to Forrester Research WholeView 2™ clients at http://www.forrester.com. Forrester’s consumer research covers more than two-thirds of the world’s GDP and provides marketing executives with the data and insights they need to understand global consumers across 16 of the world’s largest economies in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.

About Forrester Research
Forrester Research (Nasdaq: FORR) is an independent technology and market research company that provides pragmatic and forward-thinking advice about technology’s impact on business and consumers. For 22 years, Forrester has been a thought leader and trusted advisor, helping global clients lead in their markets through its research, consulting, events, and peer-to-peer executive programs. For more information, visit http://www.forrester.com.

(C) 2006, Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Forrester and WholeView are trademarks of Forrester Research, Inc.

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