This report provides comprehensive and current information and analysis of the US Evolution of Technology in Consumers’ Lives market including market size, anticipated market forecast, relevant market segmentation, and industry trends for how consumers use technology in the US.

Current market landscape

COVID-19 has accelerated digital adoption and usage for a variety of categories, such as communication, entertainment, personal health management and home fitness. Consumers responded to the pandemic by using digital services and tools, such as video calling, online shopping, app usage and virtual activities as a way to reduce potential COVID-19 exposure. For example, nearly half of all consumers have increased their video calling since COVID-19, and less than one third expect to reduce their video calling in a postCOVID-19 world.

Future market trends in the evolution of technology in consumers’ lives

New digital behaviors established during stay-at-home measures and social distancing will have staying power to some degree after the pandemic. Familiarity and demand for virtual activities has increased, and consumers will seek more remote capabilities for a variety of activities. Brands that best understand how consumers are using technology and their expectations for a post-COVID-19 landscape can best position themselves to connect with their target audience.

Read on to discover more about the evolution of tech consumers, read our Online Marketplaces – US – 2021 report, or take a look at our other Technology and Telecoms Industry research reports.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior related to communication, entertainment and other aspects of everyday life.
  • Key players in consumer technology like healthcare, gaming and communication and the strategic directions taken in the market.
  • Market opportunities in consumer technology and digital services identified through Mintel’s 2022 Global Consumer Trends.
  • Expectations for participation in digital activities in a post-COVID-19 environment.
  • How attitudes toward technology now will impact future behaviors.
  • Evolution of technology and consumer behavior.

Covered in this report

Brands include: Facebook, TikTok, Meta, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Reddit, Clubhouse, Nextdoor, Samsung, Nintendo, Microsoft, Roblox, Epic Games, Disney, Ray-Ban, Zoom, Discord, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Apple, Apple Watch, Oculus, Netflix, Amazon, Hyatt.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Buddy Lo, a leading analyst in the Technology and Consumer Electronics sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

COVID-19 will have a lasting impact on consumers’ digital behaviors. The push to more remote and flexible functions has opened the door for new avenues of communication and virtual activities. Consumers are experimenting and adopting new channels to connect with each other and brands. Major categories like healthcare, retail and entertainment are positioned for further tech integration and innovation.
Buddy Lo, Senior Technology Analyst
Buddy Lo
Sr. Technology and Consumer Electronics Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • This Report looks at the following areas
        • Scope
          • Market context
            • Economic and other assumptions
              • COVID-19: US context
              • Executive Summary

                  • Top takeaways
                    • Impact of COVID-19 on technology in consumers’ lives
                      • Figure 1: Short, medium and long-term impact of COVID-19 on technology in consumers’ lives, 2021
                    • Opportunities and challenges
                      • Wearable technology growing in utility and capabilities
                        • Gaming represents one of the biggest opportunities for tech brands
                          • Consumers have increased their digital activities
                            • Figure 2: Change in digital activities (NET), 2021
                          • Millennials recognize their dependency on their digital devices
                            • Figure 3: Attitudes toward technology and COVID-19 – Device usage and screen time, by generation, 2021
                          • Virtual fitness services have an opportunity to increase usage among younger women
                            • Figure 4: Preferred activities post-COVID-19 – Gym/studio vs virtual workouts, by gender and age, 2021
                          • What it means
                          • Evolution of Tech Use

                            • Communication and connection
                              • Figure 5: Tech use for communication and connection in the last 30 days, 2017-21
                            • Transactions and finances
                              • Figure 6: Tech use for transactions and finances in the last 30 days, 2017-21
                            • Leisure and entertainment
                              • Figure 7: Tech use for leisure and entertainment in the last 30 days, 2017-21
                            • Research and information
                              • Figure 8: Tech use for research and information in the last 30 days, 2017-21
                            • Social media
                              • Figure 9: Daily social media use, by social media, 2019-21
                              • Figure 10: Social media usage, 2021
                          • Market Factors

                            • Regulations hold significant weight
                              • Economic growth and confidence key to increasing digital activities
                                • Figure 11: GDP change from previous period, Q1 2007-Q3 2021
                                • Figure 12: US unemployment and Consumer Sentiment Index, 2000-21
                              • Supply chain issues continue to persist for tech category
                                • Figure 13: Consumer Price Index change from previous period, 2007-21
                              • Consumers returning to their daily commutes
                                • Figure 14: Work commutes, 2020-21
                              • Retiring Baby Boomers an untapped digital audience
                                • Millennials have the aptitude, interest and income for new tech and digital services
                                  • Digital divide a major issue for society to tackle moving forward
                                    • Metaverse initiatives will drive VR and AR innovation
                                      • Consumer tech integration with healthcare an emerging category
                                      • Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

                                        • Facebook’s new name, Meta, shows it’s serious about VR
                                          • Zoom and other communication services must capitalize on post-pandemic consumer behaviors
                                            • Apple wants to lead the healthcare and personal tech integration
                                              • Tech brands look to gaming for more growth
                                                • Ray-Ban looks to get into wearable tech category with smart sunglasses
                                                  • Brands must deliver on environment and sustainability
                                                  • Competitive Strategies

                                                    • Facebook looks to bring VR to mainstream with transformation to Meta
                                                      • Figure 15: Meta Instagram Stories ad, 2021
                                                    • Communication firms look to enterprise for revenue growth
                                                      • Zoom offers free service for primary and secondary schools globally
                                                        • Gaming a key strategic initiative for tech brands
                                                          • Figure 16: Facebook Gaming – Play Watch Connect Pac-Man promotion, 2021
                                                        • Aesthetic variety coming to wearable tech
                                                          • Figure 17: Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Classic online advertisement, 2021
                                                          • Figure 18: Samsung Galaxy Watch4 online advertisement, 2021
                                                        • Apple focuses on health monitoring as its newest standout feature
                                                          • Figure 19: Apple Watch Series 7 online advertisement, 2021
                                                        • Ray-Ban enters wearable tech category with Ray-Ban Stories
                                                          • Figure 20: Ray-Ban Stories Facebook ad, 2021
                                                      • Market Opportunities

                                                        • Mintel 2022 Global Consumer Trends point to opportunities in tech
                                                          • Climate Complexity
                                                            • Figure 21: Amazon News promotional email, 2021
                                                          • Enjoyment Everywhere
                                                            • Flexible Spaces
                                                                • Figure 22: Hyatt email ad, 2020
                                                              • In Control
                                                              • The Consumer – Key Takeaways

                                                                • Video calling increase from COVID-19 will remain to a high degree
                                                                  • Older parents show higher digital health monitoring behaviors
                                                                    • One quarter of consumers would like telehealth options, post-pandemic
                                                                      • Younger women more likely to prefer virtual workouts post-pandemic
                                                                        • Group video chats expected to remain a popular form of connection
                                                                        • Digital Activities Since COVID-19

                                                                          • More than half of consumers make personal video calls
                                                                            • Figure 23: Digital activities over the past three months, 2021
                                                                            • Figure 24: Digital activities (NET) over the past three months, 2021
                                                                          • Millennials drive new digital activities
                                                                            • Figure 25: Digital activities (NET) over the past three months, by generation, 2021
                                                                          • Hispanic consumers overindex for making social video calls
                                                                            • Figure 26: Digital activities over the past three months – Video calling, by race and Hispanic origin, 2021
                                                                          • Older parents show more digital behaviors than younger nonparents
                                                                            • Figure 27: Digital activities over the past three months, by parental status and age, 2021
                                                                          • Digital events/tours used by parents with children of all age ranges
                                                                            • Figure 28: Digital activities over the past three months, by parental status and age of children, 2021
                                                                            • Figure 29: Digital activities over the past three months, by parental status and age, 2021
                                                                        • Change in Digital Activities

                                                                          • Digital adoption increased since COVID-19
                                                                            • Figure 30: Change in digital activities – Increase, 2021
                                                                            • Figure 31: Change in digital activities – Increase (NET), 2021
                                                                          • Older consumers ramped up online shopping during the pandemic
                                                                            • Figure 32: Change in digital activities – Increase (NET), by generation, 2021
                                                                          • Parents increased digital activities the most since COVID-19
                                                                            • Figure 33: Change in digital activities – Increase (NET), by parental status and age, 2021
                                                                        • Expected Digital Activities Post-COVID-19

                                                                          • Consumers look forward to meeting in person instead of video calling
                                                                            • Figure 34: Expected digital activities post-COVID-19 – Decrease, 2021
                                                                            • Figure 35: Expected digital activities post-COVID-19 – Decrease (NET), 2021
                                                                          • Millennials look forward to in-person activities
                                                                            • Figure 36: Expected digital activities post-COVID-19 – Decrease (NET), by generation, 2021
                                                                          • Hispanic and Black consumers expect to reduce video calling post-pandemic
                                                                            • Figure 37: Expected decrease in video calling post-COVID-19, by race and Hispanic origin, 2021
                                                                        • Preferred Methods of Contact Post-COVID-19

                                                                          • One quarter of consumers would like telehealth options
                                                                            • Figure 38: Preferred methods of contact, 2021
                                                                          • Millennials lead telehealth consideration
                                                                            • Figure 39: Preferred methods of contact – Medical professionals, by generation, 2021
                                                                          • Older and younger parents value convenience of video chatting
                                                                            • Figure 40: Preferred methods of contact – Live video chat, by parental status and age, 2021
                                                                          • Brands need multiple points of contact to connect with consumers
                                                                            • Figure 41: Preferred methods of contact – Customer service and tech troubleshooting, by generation, 2021
                                                                        • Preferred Activities Post-COVID-19

                                                                          • Millennials lead digital usage for groceries and foodservice
                                                                            • Figure 42: Preferred activities post-COVID-19 – Groceries, by generation, 2021
                                                                            • Figure 43: Preferred activities post-COVID-19 – Restaurant vs takeout/delivery, by generation, 2021
                                                                          • Younger women prefer virtual workouts
                                                                            • Figure 44: Preferred activities post-COVID-19 – Gym/studio vs. virtual workouts, by generation, 2021
                                                                          • Gen X most likely to prefer digital contact for troubleshooting tech issues
                                                                            • Figure 45: Preferred activities post-COVID-19 – Tech troubleshooting, by generation, 2021
                                                                          • Digitally based scheduling preferred by younger consumers
                                                                            • Figure 46: Preferred activities post-COVID-19 – Tech troubleshooting, by generation, 2021
                                                                          • Parents and nonparents value in-home movie experience
                                                                            • Figure 47: Preferred activities post-COVID-19 – Movie theater vs. home viewing, by generation, 2021
                                                                        • Attitudes toward Technology and COVID-19

                                                                          • Gen Z is least receptive to “COVID-19 passes”
                                                                            • Figure 48: Attitudes toward technology and COVID-19 – Attending live events, by generation, 2021
                                                                          • Group video chats expected to remain popular post-COVID-19
                                                                            • Figure 49: Attitudes toward technology and COVID-19 – Group video chats and reconnecting, 2021
                                                                          • Consumers agree remote work offers additional flexibility
                                                                            • Figure 50: Attitudes toward technology and COVID-19 – Remote work, 2021
                                                                            • Figure 51: Hyatt email ad, 2021
                                                                          • Millennials recognize their dependency on digital devices
                                                                            • Figure 52: Attitudes toward technology and COVID-19 – Device usage and screen time, 2021
                                                                          • Recognition of the internet as a necessary utility is widespread
                                                                            • Figure 53: Attitudes toward technology and COVID-19 – Internet as an essential utility, by generation, 2021
                                                                          • Younger consumers prefer the convenience of human-free interactions
                                                                            • Figure 54: Attitudes toward technology and COVID-19 – Customer service and app-based services, by gender and age, 2021
                                                                          • Consumers widely satisfied with access to streaming content at home
                                                                            • Figure 55: Attitudes toward technology and COVID-19 – Home streaming, by generation, 2021
                                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                          • Data sources
                                                                            • Consumer survey data
                                                                              • Marketing creative
                                                                                • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                  • Abbreviations

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