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Data Brief: Typical ConnectedEconomy™ Consumer Is 45, And 6 In 10 Are Mid- To Low-Income

The inaugural report in PYMNTS ConnectedEconomy™ series, How Consumers Live In The ConnectedEconomy™, culled from a Q2 2021 survey of nearly 15,100 U.S. consumers, identifies new buyer personas forged by the great digital shift across what we characterize as the eight pillars of the 5G, IoT, ultra-interoperable ConnectedEconomy™ that’s coming to life now.

This data brief excerpts the first study in this new series, focusing here on the habits of highly connected consumers — those with smartphones, smart speakers, wearables, and the like — in a revealing look at cohort buying behaviors as many millions sample new digital experiences.

Per the study, “highly connected shoppers … own only about one more connected device on average than an average consumer — just less than six,” adding that this group aligns more than previously thought with the general population. “These consumers’ average age is 45, and 61 percent are middle-income or low-income. This runs counter to a broader demographic axiom that robust digital adoption is the province of younger consumers with higher incomes.”

Payments is where the plot expectedly thickens, with How Consumers Live In The ConnectedEconomy™ noting that “Highly connected consumers more likely to report having been paid via mobile wallet than by traditional means such as check or direct deposit: 62 percent of these consumers report having received payments via mobile wallets at least once over the past 12 months” — double the number paid by check or direct deposit.

“Majorities of them use four distinct methods: Credit cards are most common – 80 percent of them have used the payment method over the past 12 months – but mobile wallets and debit cards tie for second at 65 percent, while PayPal rounds out the list at 62 percent,” and the study adds that “highly connected consumers tend to engage in a wide range of payment related activities,” for retail products online (66 percent) and groceries online (56 percent) “than those buying these items in store (50 percent and 54 percent, respectively).”

“Lightly connected” consumers stick with “the big three: credit cards, debit cards and cash, while 32 percent use PayPal and just 10 percent of them make payments with mobile wallets.”

Super-apps are a ConnectedEconomy™ sensation, and super-portals are next, promising convenient and secure management of a unified digital identity to securely power experience.

“Approximately 40 percent of consumers overall would be interested in integrating four types of data from the respective pillars into the super portal,” per the research. “The level of interest is considerably higher if we focus on the most digitally engaged: Majorities of highly connected consumers would be interested in integrating data that corresponds to every pillar into the super portal, with interest exceeding 60 percent for six of these areas: payment features, shopping data, family connections, travel and leisure, connections with friends and health.”

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