Following the rise in digital dependency caused by months of lockdown, consumers say that their digital dependency is likely to rise by 27%, once lockdown measures have eased, although we are currently seeing small outbreaks in certain areas around England.
People have had to shift from their usual day-to-day activities and surroundings such as: the gym, workplaces, cafe's and various dining and entertainment venues. The shift has been very much made towards online, with video communication and conferencing, live video and gaming streaming as well as workout tutorials being the go-to in the last few months.
Sungrad Availability Services conducted some research to find out how people are coping with the shift towards digital during lockdown. The research discovered how online services have had an affect on relationships and personal wellbeing.
23% of respondents claimed that the use of online conferencing services such as Zoom and FaceTime has led to closer relationships with friends and family, while a third of respondents (30%) admitted any issues with communication services being unavailable would see relationships suffering as a result.
These findings were high with the 18-24 year olds at 43%, compared to those ages 50+ (24%). Internet connection is an issue that could cause major interruption to progress we make, and it an issue that respondents suffer from. 35% said that their mental wellbeing would have suffered as a result of issues with personal internet connectivity.
Entertainment has kept many people going during months of lockdown, and online entertainment services saw a huge up-rise, Netflix in particular.
The research found that consumers would be very impatient with online services, if they were not available for whatever reason. Even consumers who were loyal with brands would end up looking elsewhere if they faced disruption without a reason. More than a third of respondents (38%) stated they would immediately switch provider if they experienced unplanned downtime with no reason specified.
21% of respondents would switch entertainment streaming provider if they were unable to access the service for 12 hours, rising to one in three (33%) if unavailable for 24 hours.
These figures reveal the personal impact that not being able to access online entertainment, has on people in the UK.
As the world and society has had to adapt to massive change, consumers are shifting towards an online base to help them cope. That means the increasing dependence on online communication as well as online services being available to them 24/7, should and when they need it. Healthcare services have done what they can to provide important information to Britons, as well as banking and financial services.
Chris Huggett, SVP EMEA at Sungard Availability Services commented: “Brands need to ensure the availability of their services so they can adapt and continue to serve customers under any circumstances. Companies also need to find innovative ways to keep their employees safe, embracing social distancing and following government guidelines. Having a resilient mindset, a plan in place, and the technological know-how to weather different storms will ensure companies of all sizes can be successful in moving forward – whatever the future may look like.”