From search engines to social networks, people around the globe mostly use electronic devices for three primary purposes: relationship building/maintaining, information gathering and entertainment viewing. In fact, more than six-in-10 global respondents in Nielsen’s Global Digital Landscape Survey say they currently use electronic devices to connect with family and friends (65%), get news (63%), listen to music (63%) and/or take pictures/videos (61%). But what does the future use of electronic devices look like, and where are the best opportunities for growth?
By gauging respondents’ willingness to use an electronic device for 14 unique activities, four common areas of interest rise to the top around the globe.
- Health care: Sharing medical information is among the top activities for which respondents are willing to use an electronic device in all five regions. This is particularly attractive in developing regions, where access to medical services may not be as readily available. Sixty percent of respondents in Asia-Pacific, 52% in Africa/Middle East, 50% in Latin America say they’re willing to use an electronic device to share medical information; 45% in North America and 39% in Europe are willing.
- Education: More than half of global respondents (52%) say they’re willing to use an electronic device to get an education. Willingness is highest in Asia-Pacific and North America (57% in each region); it’s lowest in Latin America (36%), but this region also has the highest percentage of respondents who say they’re already using an electronic tool to get an education.
- Grocery retailing: While less than one-third of global respondents (32%) say they currently use an electronic device to buy groceries, nearly half (48%) are willing to do so. Willingness is highest in the regions with the highest percentage of respondents already buying groceries electronically (Asia-Pacific and Africa/Middle East). North America, which has the lowest percentage of respondents who say they’re currently buying groceries with an electronic device, follows closely behind. Half of respondents in each region (54% in Africa/Middle East, 51% in Asia-Pacific and 50% in North America) are willing to use an electronic device to buy groceries, while four-in-10 respondents in Latin America (46%) and Europe (40%) are willing to do so.
- Finance: Fewer developing-market respondents say they’re currently using electronic devices to pay bills and conduct banking business, but there is interest to do so in the future. More than four-in-10 respondents in Asia-Pacific (47%), Africa/Middle East (44%) and Latin America (41%) say they are willing to pay their bills with an electronic device. Similar percentages (46% in Asia-Pacific, 45% in Africa/Middle East and 36% in Latin America) are willing to conduct banking business with an electronic device.
The recent Global Digital Landscape report also discusses:
- How content is consumed in rapidly shrinking media boundaries.
- The influence of social media on how and when we watch.
- Video program viewing habit preferences by location and activity.
For more detail and insight, download Nielsen’s Global Digital Landscape Report.
About the Nielsen Global Survey
The findings in this survey are based on respondents with online access across 60 countries. While an online survey methodology allows for tremendous scale and global reach, it provides a perspective only on the habits of existing Internet users, not total populations. In developing markets where online penetration has not reached majority potential, audiences may be younger and more affluent than the general population of that country. Additionally, survey responses are based on claimed behavior, rather than actual metered data.