The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the perceived value of technology in 53% of broadband households, according to a Parks Associates’ survey.

The study, “COVID-19: Impact on Consumer Spending and Behavior,” was in the field from March 8 to April 3. The broad study explores heads of households’ reactions “to social distancing and shelter-in-place orders in terms of their use of technology, their subscriptions to entertainment and security services, and their perceptions of service providers.” It seeks to understand how these events will influence purchase intentions.

“2020 marks an unprecedented time in US and global history,” Parks Associates’ Senior Analyst Kristen Hanich said in a press release about the perceived value of technology. “COVID-19 has impacted global supply chains, worldwide businesses, and consumer spending. It has prompted exceptional actions from regulators in terms of both public health and monetary and fiscal policy. Currently, 70% of US consumers report that they are following social distancing rules, and 30% report that they are following shelter-in-place orders or are otherwise self-quarantining.”

Technology Perceived Value
Key findings from the report about the perceived value of technology:

  • Twenty-eight percent of US heads of broadband households over the age of 75 are self-quarantining.
  • Intention to purchase consumer electronics products is at a multiyear high.
  • Intention to purchase consumer electronics in the next year is 5% higher compared to the year prior.
  • Twenty-one percent of heads of US broadband households subscribed to one or more OTT video service during the past three months.

While the pandemic has been an uninterrupted flood of news ranging from bad to tragic, there is a big silver lining for consumer electronics manufacturers and, particularly, broadband providers.

It was a fair assumption that broadband use would increase as schools, businesses, entertainment and other endeavors became centered on the home. Now the proof exists to validate those assumptions. For instance, Plume reported that the number of U.S. households active during the work day more than doubled between January and April and earlier this month the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association reported that its members saw a 36% increase in average traffic. Both Plume and OpenVault report that traffic jumped but seems to be plateauing.

The next assumption that remains to be proven is that broadband penetration and device sales will increase. The Parks Associates study about the perceived value of technology suggests that this process is ongoing.

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