Against a backdrop of increased anxiety around personal data-sharing*, KPMG’s latest research reveals that British consumers are more sceptical about the benefits of new technology than their global counterparts. When looking at the likes of virtual personal assistants, smart home devices or even self-driving cars, UK consumers were found to be less excited and more cautious.
In the study of over 25,000 people, KPMG’s Global Customer Insights Programme (Me, my life, my wallet) seeks to highlight the importance of research into motivations, generational differences, social connections and life events in understanding the behaviour of today’s consumers.
Bringing this to life, when asked whether consumers felt certain technological advancements were either ‘cool’ or ‘creepy’:
- Only 29% of Brits considered virtual personal assistants to be ‘cool’, compared to the global average of 42%. Meanwhile, 17% of Brits thought the technology was ‘creepy’, compared to 10% of respondents globally.
- 33% of Brits considered smart home devices to be ‘cool’ (compared to 39% globally), whilst 10% considered them creepy (compared to 8% globally).
- When looking at self-driving cars, 40% of Brits considered them creepy (compared to 28% globally), whilst only 16% of Brits thought they were cool (compared to 28% globally).
Commenting on the findings and what they mean for businesses, Adrian Clamp, UK head of customer & digital at KPMG, said:
“We know that UK consumers are increasingly anxious about sharing their personal data, so it is fitting that their regard for the latest generation of data-collecting technology is also less positive than the global average. When asked about the likes of virtual personal assistants or voice activated devices, UK consumers were less likely to judge these technologies as ‘cool’ and much more likely to regard them as ‘creepy’.
“38% of UK consumers ranked trustworthiness as the main driver for their loyalty to brands. Businesses today face the challenge of persuading consumers to adopt some of the latest data sharing technologies, but it seems that in the UK this will be an even bigger challenge than elsewhere, as whilst two-thirds of consumers interviewed globally were excited by the latest connected tech, only around half of British consumers were.
“For years the UK has been a perfect launch-market for a lot of new tech, but it now seems we are also ahead of the game when it comes to scepticism about technology. Earning the trust of UK consumers is a key focus for many of our clients, and these findings point to the importance of understanding the level of consumer trust, especially where data-sharing is concerned.”
* In November 2018, KPMG revealed that British consumer are increasingly anxious about data sharing. You can view the full press release: here
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Notes to Editors:
About KPMG’s Consumer Insights Program research
KPMG conducted an extensive, global study which included a survey of 19,655 consumers in the UK, US, Brazil, UAE, France, Canada, China and India. Further context was provided by an in-depth ethnographic interviews with consumers on the ground in these same eight countries. *A supplementary global survey of 4,900 consumers was conducted following the initial Global KPMG study.
KPMG has just published its annual 2018 “Me, my life, my wallet” report. This is a deep dive into the story of today’s consumer and the ways humans from every corner of the globe are both fiercely individual but also experiencing a world of technology convergence and changing cultural landscape – and what that means for how they earn, spend and save.
About KPMG International
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About KPMG in the UK:
KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 14,500 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a revenue of £2.2 billion in the year ended 30 September 2017. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 154 countries and territories and has 200,000 people working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.
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