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Three things to know about Singaporeans’ digital consumption habits

Survey shows this and two other areas that businesses need to address

It is no secret that we are becoming increasingly dependent on technology and our digital devices as a source of information, entertainment and to simplify everyday tasks.

Recently, Limelight Networks released its State of Digital Lifestyles 2018 report, based on market research conducted on 5,000 consumers in 10 countries including Singapore, Malaysia and the US.

The report found that more than half of the 500 Singaporeans surveyed said they could not go a day without their mobile phones, confirming many traits of local consumers' dependence and usage of digital devices.

As digital devices become a more integral part of our lives, expectations and frustrations continue to rise. Here are three things about Singaporeans' attitudes and use of digital devices that the report uncovered:

TRUST AND SECURITY CONCERNS DETER ADOPTION

The adoption of digital assistants, such as Google Home and Amazon Echo, have been on the rise in Singapore, albeit in its early stages.

According to the findings, 14 per cent of Singaporean respondents own a digital assistant, 5 per cent below the global average of 19 per cent.

The main hurdle to adoption is not a lack of availability or awareness of its benefits, but that trust levels remain low - only 35 per cent of Singaporean consumers fully trust digital assistants to provide general information, and this figure gets even lower when it comes to trusting assistants for online shopping and home automation.

Consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of the security of their online environments, and this translates into a rising demand for businesses they engage with to be sufficiently prepared to thwart attacks.

Winning over and maintaining consumer trust is a constant challenge that businesses need to overcome. This is of key importance, and not only for technology providers.

CONSUMERS' FRUSTRATIONS

More than 92 per cent of Singaporeans find it frustrating to access digital content, especially when content stops playing and rebuffers, and when the experience is disrupted by errors.

Younger consumers, in particular those between 18 and 45, expressed frustration in such scenarios.

What this means for businesses is that they need to deliver consistent, high-quality viewing and content experiences with low buffer rates across multiple digital devices to provide the experience that consumers expect without the frustrations that cause them to abandon content.

This can be mitigated by continuous monitoring of a user's connection and optimising how content is delivered based on real-time analysis.

SINGAPOREANS LEAST LIKELY TO PAY FOR DIGITAL CONTENT

Although consumer engagement with digital content is growing, most are unwilling to pay to access content.

This is particularly true in Singapore, where consumers are among the least likely to pay for content, primarily because they remain unconvinced that paid content provides them with a far superior level of quality.

Businesses need to do more to improve the quality of content and the overall user experience to stand out from the competition and compel consumers to opt-in to their content.

The writer is senior director, SEA & India at Limelight Networks, a digital content delivery solutions provider.

Technology