Tag Archives: Market segmentation

Tech Purchase Plans – Some Wins and Some Fails (TUPdate)

Tech Purchase Plans – some wins and some fails – a TUPdate by Dan Ness

Some tech products seem to be on everyone’s shopping list, and yet that’s not really the case. Well, certainly smartphones and mobile PCs rank near the top, as they have for years. However, several highly-publicized products haven’t ranked in the top 20 while other less-acclaimed standbys continue to rank well.

Smartwatches by anyone except Apple or Google? Home Thermostats? Chromebooks? They’re not in the top 20, languishing along with basic feature phones. Only a small number of tech buyers are showing true interest.

Diving into the purchase plans from our most recent wave of Technology User Profile (TUP 2016), we’ve identified some very interesting patterns.

What are the top-planned tech products?

Smartphones top the list of purchase plans, with the majority being among those who already use a smartphone. Gaming PCs are strong, with Gaming Desktop PCs drawing nearly triple the interest of Gaming Notebook PCs. Traditional Notebooks continue to rank strongly, while other mobile PC plans are split between 2-in-1 and convertible designs.metafacts-top-30-plans-2016-12-08_16-51-01

Fitness trackers show promise, handily outranking plans for smartwatches by Apple, Google, or any of the many languishing others.

Two products continuing to show steady demand are the venerable Printer and Tower Desktop. Both continue to be ranked in the top 10 for interest.

Apple’s iPad continues to show solid interest, benefiting from recent product refreshes. Plans for Android tablets, however, don’t measure up to Apple’s.

Hits for key segments

What’s interesting is that most tech plans are not evenly spread across all technology users, and instead several key segments have plans that stand out from the pack.

Any tech purchase plans by age

One simple difference between those planning and those not planning – age. Tech purchase plans are stronger among younger than older adults.metafacts-plans-overall-by-age-2016-12-07_15-53-38

Younger adults have stronger plans to purchase any of the 30 tech products we surveyed respondents about. Adults age 30-34 are the peak group with overall purchase plans, with 77% planning to buy at least one product in the coming year. At the other end of the age spectrum, adults age 70 or above are the nadir group with respect to purchase plans, with 29% planning to buy any of the surveyed tech products.

Sigma analysis show youthful intensity

A summation analysis reveals stronger purchase intensity among younger than older adults. The sigma – summation of the plans for all of the respective tech products – shows that adults age 30-39 have the strongest plans of any age group. This is a more intensive curve than the above penetration analysis, reflecting the much broader range of plans among younger adults.metafacts-plans-summation-by-age-2016-12-07_15-53-38

The six most-age-skewed tech products

Six tech products stand out for being age-skewed – with the largest differences between plans among older and younger adults.

Gaming Desktop PCs are at the top of the list, with respect to the widest difference between those with and without plans by age groups. It’s not as if these tricked-out desktops are only pulled towards the youngest among us. The group with the strongest plans are adults age 30-34, which reflects in part that these older adults have the means to pay for these more-powerful PCs. It is also due in part that older adults have more PC usage and experience, with productivity activities as in game planning.

Smartphones – both Apple iPhones and Androids – are more popular with younger than older adults. Since younger adults have higher penetration of smartphone usage than older adults, this reflects a strong replacement market. Conversely, low interest levels also reflects a low likelihood for the smartphone market to strengthen its penetration among older adults.metafacts-age-skewed-plans-by-age-2016-12-07_16-23-42

PC purchase intentions are strongest among age 35-39 adults for more than one PC form factor. This reflects the desire for expanded PC use among this important segment, and also this group’s openness to have PCs which are packaged in different formats.

Something for each, but not every, age group
There’s something for everybody. Each age group has its preferences, with some products at the top of mind of nearly every age group. While looking at the top three ranked products within each age group, we found some interesting patterns. Apple’s iPhone is singular because it’s top-ranked in all groups – in the top three for all 11 age groups. Android Smartphones aren’t very far behind, being top-ranked in 9 groups. That the two oldest groups didn’t report Android Smartphones on their future purchase list may be due in part to the phone or carrier brand having stronger recognition than the Google Android operating system.

Three tech products are strongest among generally older groups – traditional notebooks, printers, and fitness trackers. That 7 of the 11 age groups rank traditional notebooks in the top of their shopping list bodes well for the venerable PC.

Although wearables such as Apple’s Watch and Google Wear have garnered much media attention, neither are in the top three for any age group. One wearable is, though, and it’s fitness trackers. Despite advertising often featuring slim younger women in yoga pants, fitness trackers only rank among the top three items for adults who are age 70 and above. This category is partly an example of aspirational marketing, appealing to those who want to be something they aren’t (yet).

  • The Apple iPhone is among the top 3 for all 11 age groups
  • Android Smartphone – ranked in 9 age groups – younger adults
  • Traditional Notebook – ranked in 7 groups – older adults
  • Printer – ranked in 4 age groups – generally older adults
  • Gaming Desktop PC – ranked in 4 age groups – younger adults
  • Fitness Tracker – only ranks in the top 3 in one age group – age 70+

The six most-spending-skewed tech products

Six tech products stand out based on analysis of consumer tech spending by quartiles. Top spenders – those in the top 1/4th of total household tech spending – are above average in their purchase plans for nearly every tech product. What’s interesting are the tech products which have captured above average interest among the next tier of buyers – those that are in the 3nd-highest quartile of total tech spending.

Within this spending segment, the six tech products which show above-average plans include three Apple products, three wearables, and a fun-oriented category.

The uniquely-strong products from Apple include the iPhone, iPad, and Watch. Apple’s regular product line refresh has helped keep interest high.metafacts-plans-by-spend-2016-12-07_14-32-45

Interestingly, interest for fitness trackers outpaces smartwatches, even among the biggest spenders. This supports, in part, the notion that cost would be a primary barrier to smartwatch adoption. Even more so, it reflects the early stage wearables have in the user’s device collection. There is still plenty of experimentation ahead, as entrants come and go, as ecosystems flower and fade, and mostly as more mainstream users integrate wearable devices into their regular activities.

What you have today – and what you’ll have next – Plans by current device combination
Our research continues to show that future tech purchases are strongly affected by consumer’s current products. Two device combinations stand out as those with the strongest tech purchase plans. Users with a desktop, notebook, mobile, and a tablet make up 31% of connected adults, and those with a notebook, tablet, and mobile phone are 10% of adults. Users with other combinations have tech purchase plans below average.

Five tech products stand out by having stronger-than-average plans among these two popular combos. The Apple iPhone tops the list, with 13% of all connected adults planning to buy one. For those with all four devices – desktop, notebook, tablet, and mobile phone – 19% plan to get an Apple iPhone, well above the average. Those juggling three devices – notebook, tablet, and mobile phone – are also above average in planning to get an Apple iPhone, with 16% planning to get one.metafacts-plans-by-combo-2016-12-07_15-47-47

Purchase plans for traditional notebooks are also strong, and in this case strongest among this 2nd-ranked combination, representing an additional or replacement notebook for 13% of adults. Plans for the largest combination segment are also stronger than average, at 11% of these adults.

Other above tech products for both of these device-combination segments include a Fitness Tracker such as a FitBit, an Apple iPad, and an Android Tablet.

Looking ahead
Looking ahead, we expect the tech-device-rich to get tech-richer, with those who have the broadest collection of technology products and services to remain within that segment of super-tech users. Wearables are still having a tough time finding interest among a broad market, much less finding broad adoption.

About this TUPdate

This TUPdate includes a complimentary brief summary of recent MetaFacts TUP (Technology User Profile) research results. These results are based on the most-recent results of the MetaFacts Technology User Profile 2016 survey, its 34th wave, with 7,334 respondents (US). Trend information is based on prior waves. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

Resources

Current TUP subscribers can tap into any of the following TUP information used for this analysis or for even deeper analysis.

Numerous TUP sections feature analysis of spending plans. These include the Overview, Age Ranges, Age, Gender, Adoption Summary, PC Adoption, Mobile Phone Adoption, Adoption Years, Device Combinations, Primary and Secondary Devices, Devices OS Ecosystems, Brand Footprint, Key Devices, Key Devices/OS, Home-Family PCs, Recently Purchase PCs, Purchase Year, Tablets, Mobile Phones, Smartphone, Basic cell phone, Smartphone Data, Lines, Spending, Wearable Technology, Hearables/Listening, TVs, Music Players, and Social Networks sections.

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Filed under Consumer research, Desktops, Market Research, Notebooks, Smartphones, Tablets, Technology adoption, TUP 2016

Tech for some of us? Tech usage and age (TUPdate)

Tech for some of us? Tech usage and age – Dan Ness, November 10, 2016

I’ve been to county fairs where a carnival seer will guess your age and weight. If these diviners were steeped in tech awareness, might they be able to go further and guesstimate if the person uses a video doorbell, 3D printer, or VR headset? I doubt it. Not being psychic, we rely on directly asking people through scientific surveys.

Although age alone doesn’t tell everything about a technology user, analysis of the market by age reveals some striking differences in user’s technology activities, use cases, consumer electronics penetration, connected device usage, and tech purchase intentions.MetaFacts td1611-plans-youth-skewed-2016-11-10_09-23-41

Market penetration is steeply skewed towards younger adults for most consumer electronics products and services. Analyzing our survey results from TUP 2016, most consumer electronics products index higher among younger than older adults. (An index of 100 means that the product is being used as the same rate as the national average.) Products that index well above 200 (double the national rate) for age 25-39 are many, including OTT TV Boxes ASUS Cube, Google Nexus Player and Google/Android TV. To dispel the notion this age group is sedentary, golf swing analyzers also index high. Furthermore, this group is tech-feathering their nests with video doorbells and smart locks.MetaFacts td16-elder-skewed-2016-11-09_16-51-10

Older adults can claim dominance in other consumer electronics products and services. Subscription to Cable TV is stronger among older than younger adults. Many younger adults that watch TV do so using the Internet. Turntables that play vinyl albums (Record Players) index more strongly among older adults. This may in part reflect that older adults may still have vinyl collections to play, while younger adults can either play newer more-expensive albums or track down older LPs. The elder-skewed usage indexes are not as strongly defined as those for youth-skewed, reflecting moderate use of both of these products and services among younger adults.

I know from decades of consumer research that age is only one factor describing technology users. So, I drilled down further into TUP to adjust for educational attainment and employment status. By rank order, the list of age-skewed consumer electronics is nearly identical by age for employed and self-employed adults. This pattern is similar for those who are college educated.

A similar pattern emerges for Connected Devices. Certain products are being used by a higher share of younger than older adults.MetaFacts td1611-devices-youth-skewed-2016-11-10_09-25-15

Interestingly, the highest-ranked youth-skewed top devices weren’t personally paid for by younger adults, and instead were bought by their employers. These range from work e-Book Readers and Tablets to All-in-One PCs and yes, Basic cell phones. When younger adults buy tech with their own money, two more highly-favored devices are Game Consoles and Apple MacBooks. Furthermore, whether as a sign of mobility, resourcefulness or freeloading, younger adults index higher for use of a public/shared printer, such as might be in a cybercafé, library, or hotel business center. They also index higher for using three or more printers, regardless of ownership.

There’s an old adage that goes “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This is likely uttered more often among older than younger adults. The active installed base for older adults skews higher for Home PCs running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7. Personal basic feature phones also index higher by older adults.MetaFacts td1611-devices-elder-skewed-2016-11-10_09-24-29

Considering the near future through buyer sentiment, a similarly distinctive young/old pattern emerges. Gaming Desktops and Gaming Notebooks, those highly-configured clocked-up fun machines, are skewed more steeply than current usage indexes. Smaller and often more-stylish PCs in the Mini Desktop PC form factor rank strongest. One product which might surprise some is the Apple iPod Touch. It’s effectively a Wi-Fi iPhone, capable of running many iOS apps although without cellular coverage. Since younger adults index higher for Work Basic feature phones, perhaps this device is a stepping stone or companion. Other notable youth-skewing planned devices include wearables – Android SmartWatch, Apple Watch, or another Smart Watch.

Purchase intentions skewed toward older adults shows a different picture. From the long list of technology products we surveyed about, none show a measurably strong skew among older adults. The three products even near to being stronger for purchase intentions are the basic cell phone, a printer, and traditional notebook PC. As I mentioned earlier, younger adults have a higher likelihood to be using a work or public/shared printer than older adults, which may contribute to them not being as eager to buy one of their own. As to traditional notebooks, younger adults are also the ones more strongly considering convertible and 2-in-1 designs, while also many consider traditionals. The picture for basic cell phones is scattered due to their continued decline, so any remaining plans are less aligned by age than by socioeconomic situation.MetaFacts td1611-plans-youth-skewed-2016-11-10_09-23-41

There’s another dimension to age that bears inclusion – experience. Newbie users make different choices than technology veterans. I dove into our technology adoption data in TUP to compare purchase plans by the longevity of the user’s experience. While those who are in the newest-third of users of PCs, Mobile Phones, or Tablets are also generally younger, that’s not entirely the case. First-time use for a Tablet is not limited to young adults; plenty of 30-something and 40-somethings are continuing to join the ranks of active Tablet users. In fact, 59% of adults who have used a Tablet PC for 1 year or less are age 35 and higher.MetaFacts td1611-plans-by-more-experience-2016-11-10_10-40-10

As we analyzed the purchase plans of the most-seasoned technology users – those who are in the top-third with the most years having used a PC, Mobile Phone, or Tablet, we found that purchase intentions are focused on different products than among newbies. 3D Printers, 2-in-1 Laptops, and Fitness trackers index much higher among the tech-experienced.

Gaming Notebooks, Gaming Desktops, and Mini Desktop PCs rank strongly among tech newbies. Some of this correlates strongly with lower age, as mentioned earlier. However, Tower Desktop PCs also rank strongly. Cloud Home Monitoring/Security solutions stand out as an up-and-coming area which are holding the interest of tech newbies, and less so among the tech-experienced.MetaFacts td1611-plans-by-less-experience-2016-11-10_10-40-10

Age is a good start in understanding technology users. But, like the skill of a carnival psychic, only goes so far.

About this TUPdate

This TUPdate includes a complimentary brief summary of recent MetaFacts TUP (Technology User Profile) research results. These results are based on the most-recent results of the MetaFacts Technology User Profile 2016 survey, its 34th wave, with 7,334 respondents (US). Trend information is based on prior waves. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

Resources

Current TUP subscribers can tap into any of the following TUP information used for this analysis or for even deeper analysis.

The TUP 2016 User Profile Chapter details age, as well as life stage, age cohort, employer size, and other key analysis points. The TUP 2016 Technology Adoption Chapter drills down into experience to profile Early Adopters, the Early and Late Majority, and Laggards.

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Filed under 3D Printers, Basic cell phones, Behaviors and Activities, Convertibles, Demographics & Econographics, Desktops, Devices, e-Book Readers, Game Consoles, Mobile Phones, Notebooks, Printers, Smartphones, Tablets, Technology adoption, TUP 2016, TUPdate

Apple’s Long March into the Majority (TUPdate)

Apple’s Long March into the Majority – Dan Ness, October 27, 2016
td1609-apple-penetration-2016-10-25-1311
For the first time in tech history, Apple has reached the half-way mark in the active installed base. As of our 2016 wave of the TUP survey, 52% of connected adults are using either an Apple Macintosh, iPhone, or iPad. This overall penetration statistic reflects that at least one key Apple device is in the hands of over half of the market.

Apple’s achievement has been from multiple successes – not only one blockbuster. In fact, just as all boats rise together on the same tide, each of Apple iPad, iPhone, and Macs have attained greater market penetration.

The iPhone has lead the charge, passing one-fourth of U.S. connected adults in 2015 to reach 36% in 2016. The iPad has experienced the most dramatic growth, stretching beyond one in five adults in 2015 to 29% in 2016. Of the three key devices, the Apple Mac and MacBooks are starting to mark their mark beyond their prior return customers. Having been strong among students and mobile employees for some time, especially MacBooks, both Apple notebooks and desktops are reaching a wider audience.
metafacts-td1609-apple-device-penetration-2016-10-25-1305

Apple has achieved this in part through balancing proprietary designs with open standards. To encourage and support use by users of only one of Apple’s key devices, each one needs to play well with other competitive products. For example, iPhone and Android Smartphone users need to be able to communicate with each other. Although Apple hasn’t fully opened their iMessage system, basic text messaging works cross-platform. iPad users need to be able to easily browse web pages with as much ease as on a Windows or Android Tablet, even while Apple famously avoided enabling Adobe Flash. Mac users need to be able to share documents with Windows users, and that’s smoother than ever.

Apple’s growing penetration has also been one of expanding breadth. Now effectively half (49%) of Apple’s customers have two or more of Apple’s key devices. Only one year ago, in 2015, only 41% had that many. The most demonstrably loyal Apple customers have the full collection of these three key devices. This continues to be a small group, at 15% of Apple’s customers for these devices, and yet this is a growing group.

Diving into the combinations
To get a more complete understanding into the dynamics, I dove more deeply into the TUP data. One fruitful dimension of our custom forecasting analysis is based on what users have. For most tech products and service, buyers begin with what they have. The current set of products has a strong impact on shaping future choices. For example, when consumers mull buying a tablet, those already using both an Apple Mac and iPhone are more likely to include an iPad in their consideration set than those with no Apple devices at all. They’re also more likely to have an ongoing connection with Apple, even if it’s limited to periodic operating system updates. Similarly, those with any single Apple device are more likely than non-users to at least consider an additional Apple device. Of course, this isn’t automatically true, since in some cases in can backfire if users are having bad experiences with the product, brand, or in this case, the OS ecosystem.

The largest group based on combinations of Apple devices – those who are only using an iPhone, and not an iPhone or iPad. This group has been largest since 2014. Those who have added an iPad to go along with their iPhone have brought this 2-Apple-device combination to be the 2nd-largest. Perhaps surprisingly, the 3rd-largest Apple-device combination is the set of users who have all three. Although this Apple-intense group only represents 8% of all connected adults, it’s grown from being 4% only one year prior.metafacts-td1609-apple-combo-penetration-2016-10-25-1157

Into the [main] stream
With Apple’s move into the majority, will it be harder for Apple to be perceived as elite, special, and “different”?

Even in the 1980’s when I was researching markets for Apple, the company was different and special. From its beginning, Apple appealed to and reached a small share of the market. There have always been certain segments of the market where Apple has dominated at least some of the time, such as among creatives in graphics, marketing, and education.

We are conducting additional analysis of technology users by their employment role and industry, to see where other TUP results point to strongthening or weakening Apple adoption through buyer’s purchase intentions, refresh rates for PCs (Macs), Smartphones, and Tablets, socioeconomic factors, and many other factors.

Looking ahead
We expect Apple’s expansion to continue, although not with as high growth rates as in the past. In the tablet business, Microsoft’s Surface has made recent inroads, such that 12% of connected adults are using a Windows Tablet. Google Android Tablets are also a strong force, being actively used by 17%.

With the recent refresh of the MacBook line, Apple stands to continue its broadening penetration. The foremost  buyers will come from within the ranks of current MacBook and Apple desktops users. We expect a smaller percentage of buyers to come from the ranks of current Windows Notebook users. Stronger yes will be those users with at least one Mac, iPad, or iPhone.

This trope can finally be truthfully said: these segments are Apple’s low-hanging fruit.

About this TUPdate

This TUPdate includes a complimentary brief summary of recent MetaFacts TUP (Technology User Profile) research results. These results are based on the most-recent results of the MetaFacts Technology User Profile 2016 survey, its 34th wave, with 7,334 respondents (US). Trend information is based on prior waves. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

Resources

Current TUP subscribers can tap into any of the following TUP information used for this analysis or for even deeper analysis.

The TUP 2016 Devices Chapter details device combinations, as well as device primacy, OS Ecosystems, brand footprint, and other key analysis points.

Comments Off on Apple’s Long March into the Majority (TUPdate)

Filed under Market Research, Market Segmentation, Market Sizing, Notebooks, Operating systems, Smartphones, Tablets, Technology adoption, TUP 2016, TUPdate

Forward-Leaning Users Define the Future

Cloud-based home security and energy management are on the cusp of either fizzling as a fad or expanding to a wider market, based on our recent MetaFacts market research. Also, the pattern consumers are exhibiting spells niche status for the Apple Watch, iPod and Chromebook.

In our analysis of a broad range of consumers spanning five countries, we separated the most forward-learning from the backward-learning, as one of our methods to predict the future of technology products and services. The most adventurous consumers point the way for the rest of the market, with their willingness to try the newest technology.Courtesy Peggy2012CREATIVELENZ Creative Commons

While Apple can justly lay claim to the Forward-Leaning for favoring many of their products. For example, iPhone and MacBooks are strongest among both the first and second tier of Forward-Leaning consumers. In contrast, many other products have lingered and languished among the forward-learning. Unless accepted by the next tier of consumers, a replacement market is the best hope for advanced tech products. Continue reading

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Filed under Backward-Leaning, Basic cell phones, Cloud Storage, Communication, Convertibles, Demographics & Econographics, Desktops, e-Book Readers, Entertainment, Forward-Leaning, Market Research, Market Sizing, Notebooks, Smartphones, Tablets, Technology adoption, TUP 2015, Usage Patterns

34% of connected adults actively use 4 or more devices

34% of connected adults actively use 4 or more devices

Connected adults are very connected, with one out of three (34%) regularly using 4 or more Internet-connected devices.

Research results from the forthcoming 2013 edition of Technology User Profile (TUP) detail the many devices online adults use to regularly connect to the Internet. In addition to sizing the market, the survey-based research details what people do with their devices. It reports which activities adults primarily use with which device. For example, TUP reports which market segments use their Smartphones or Desktops as their primary communication device, as well as which devices are primarily for fun, shopping, graphics, and other types of activities.

Juggling is becoming an important skill.

[Photo courtesy Robbie Veldwijk under a Creative Commons license]

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by | October 6, 2013 · 9:08 pm