It's official: we're hyper-connected Kiwis

  • Technology
  • September 25, 2013
  • Amanda Sachtleben
It's official: we're hyper-connected Kiwis

Roy Morgan data from the last five-and-a-half years is hard evidence of the tech behaviour we see in ourselves and others - like difficulty surviving without our mobile devices, the growing popularity of online shopping and the slow death of the desktop and the home landline.

The research company's Digital Universe study is based on the experiences of 12,000 New Zealanders annually. It shows Kiwis spent $5.4 billion online in the last financial year and 31.4 percent of them paid for these purchases using a credit card.

When it comes to devices, smartphone ownership has grown 227 percent here since 2009 - 1.4 million of us own a smartphone and 1.1 million own a tablet, a 557 percent jump in that time.

Desktop computer ownership was down 20 percent while laptops, in stark contrast, were up 41 percent.

“Digital technologies have transformed the way we all relate to each other, shop, play, work and more. The rise of the connected consumer, especially, has had a profound impact on businesses throughout New Zealand," says Roy Morgan Research's local general manager Pip Elliott.

Those using pay TV now account for slightly more than half the population, while internet-connected households are up to 80 percent. Mobile internet users have reached 37 percent.

Fifty three percent of New Zealanders now use their mobile phone more than their home phone.

The old and the new

The researchers point out though that traditional media still plays an important role in Kiwis' lives and we're using these media at the same time as digital channels. It says New Zealanders and Australians are spending 30 percent more time online than they did in 2009. In the six months to June 2013,

Kiwis spent an average of two hours and fifteen minutes online a day (up from an hour and forty two minutes in the six months to June 2009).

"Of course, many people are online at the same time as they’re watching TV (posting Facebook updates during the ad breaks for example), so there can be some crossover in the time they spend with each medium," Nielsen says.

One example of new and traditional media used in tandem is that 29 percent of Kiwis listen to the radio daily, slightly more than those surfing the web (28.6 percent).

"Again, some may do both at the same time, while also reading the paper — so these percentages aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive," says the company.

Banking on it

Kiwis have been slower adopters of smartphones than Australian consumer, but are more likely to use them for banking, Roy Morgan adds. Of those aged over 14, 38.6 percent of Kiwis have a smartphone compared with nearly 60 percent of Australians, but in the first half of this year a third of New Zealanders did one or more banking activity on their phone in an average four weeks compared with 30.6 percent of Australians, the company says.

New Zealanders are also more likely to check balances and view statements in a four week time period, it says.

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