UK shoppers demand technology bargains, service and security

UK consumers have very specific demands when buying technology: they want a bargain, their data to be secure, and products to be well supported once they've splashed the cash.

Smartphones are also becoming central to the purchasing process – though many UK consumers don't expect to pay for the apps that run on them.

These are just some of the findings from a new Consumers and Convergence survey of almost 10,000 technology buyers in 31 countries by KPMG.

UK ahead of the curve

The survey shows that UK consumers and businesses are ahead of many countries when it comes to adopting new technologies, embracing online shopping and using social media. However, we're more obsessed with price and privacy.

First off, we're all buying more online. More than 77% of UK consumers prefer to buy music, movies, games and books online (compared to 65% globally), and 74% are more likely to book flights and holiday online (globally 70%).

However, UK consumers still prefer to buy pricier items – including large technology purchases, such as TVs – in an actual rather than virtual shop.

Smartphone shopping

When out shopping, more of us are using our smartphones to help us buy, too. Almost half of UK consumers said they use their mobile to find their nearest stockist when out shopping; 32% research products and services on the move; 30% seek out discounts; 25% actually buy products via their phone and 19% scan in barcodes for product information.

Social networks and online review sites – like the one you're reading right now! – are becoming more crucial in this research process, too (see the bottom of this story for how to get all our updates on the move...)

When choosing a smartphone, British consumers are most influenced by price (88% compared to global average of 77%), coverage (82%) and quality of service (69%), rather than the availability of a specific device or exclusive content (54%).

Also, while 88% of UK smartphone owners had downloaded apps, 38% of those only used free apps.

Get off my cloud

Finally, we seem less keen on the new cloud services – storing content on the web – with just 53% of UK consumers either using or planning to use the cloud, compared to 65% globally.

This may be linked to another stat: almost half of all UK consumers expressed concerns about online security and privacy; again, higher than the international average.

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