IAB Study Reveals the Extent of the Connected Lifestyle

One in six smartphone owners use their phone at some stage when buying goods, while people use some form of internet-connected device (not including TVs or games consoles) 34 times a day, according to a new report from the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB). 

The study was conducted by research agency, Firefish, involving over 1,350 interviews among smartphone owners. There was also an ethnographic element to it, as 700 hours of video footage was captured from respondents wearing FishEye cameras, which took a photo every five seconds over a three day period. 

The respondents averaged a total of two hours 12 minutes per day using a connected device, while for 46 per cent of this time – one hour and one minute – they’re using at least two devices, sometimes three, simultaneously.

“One thing that stood out in the study was how surprised respondents were when told how frequently they’d looked at their phone, tablet or computer,” said Tim Elkington, the IAB’s director of research & strategy. “It reinforces how normal ‘omni-screening’ – being just an arms-length away from some device that gets us online – has become. 

“We also saw a broad pattern in how people use their devices: the morning is about getting information such as weather and travel; the afternoon for undertaking specific tasks such as banking or paying bills;  while the evening is focused on entertainment, including shopping.”


Technology dependence

56 per cent of UK smartphone owners report using their smartphone for day-to-day tasks – rising to 70 per cent among 18-30 year olds. 34 per cent said their smartphone is a “lifesaver”, rising to over 52 per cent of 18-30 year olds. 

52 per cent said they prefer to check their smartphone if they have any downtime, rather than just sit and think, rising to 62 per cent among 18-30 year olds. 37 per cent admitted to checking their smartphone if there’s a lull in conversation with friends, while 44 per cent said their smartphone makes their commute more enjoyable.

When it comes to shopping, 17 per cent of UK smartphone owners said their phone had played some role – either browsing, researching or buying – in a purchase made in the last fortnight. Connected devices have also turned shopping into more of a pastime – 41 per cent of respondents said they often shop online when they’re bored, rising to 58 per cent of 18-30 year olds.