A high portion of South Africans indicate that they are connected and active online almost every waking hour, according to a new survey.
The ATKearney study, titled Connected Consumers Are Not Created Equal, found that of 10,000 connected consumers across the globe, over half (51%) noted they were online almost every hour of the day.
The survey investigated approximately 1,000 people from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Brazil, Russia, China, India, South Africa, and Nigeria.
Brazilians were found to be the most continuously connected country in the world, where over 50% of respondents indicated being online in some capacity “all day long”, with a further 20% connecting every hour.
Nigeria is the second-most connected nation in the survey, with 37% and 29% indicating all-day and on the hour connectivity, respectively.
South Africans, too, showed an affinity for constant connectivity, with 25% of respondents pointing to all-day online activity, and 26% logging on every hour.
According to ATKearney, globally, the desire for always-on connectivity is driven predominantly by social reasons – interpersonal connection, self expression, and exploring the world and different views.
Convenience – in terms of entertainment and shopping – is also a driving force, the group noted.
“The vast majority of purchases today are made in physical stores, yet 54% of connected consumers say they prefer shopping online,” the group noted.
In terms of online shopping, pure-play online retailers are the most popular destinations.
“These results highlight the growing importance of the multichannel shopping experience. Consumers may check prices and talk to friends online on their way to the store, or, conversely, they may shop for items in the store, then go online to evaluate products and then buy them. Nearly half of respondents use their smartphones to check prices or product information while in the store.”
South Africans’ online activity is heavily weighted towards social networking, with 50% of internet users’ time spent on Facebook and Twitter and other social sites.
22% of time is spent on online entertainment, 18% of transactional services and only 9% on online shopping.
In fact, South Africans had the lowest preference for online shopping out of all the countries surveyed, where only 31% of respondents indicated that they prefer to shop online.
In China, 84% of respondents showed preference for online shopping, far above the global average of 54%.