Build an insights-driven org

Announcing Our Annual Benchmark On The State Of US Consumers And Technology In 2016

Gina Fleming
Manager, Data Science
August 24, 2016

In 2016, consumers of all ages are extremely connected — the average US online adult uses more than four connected devices, three-quarters use a smartphone and more than half use a tablet. Forrester’s annual report on the State of Consumers and Technology: Benchmark 2016, US reveals the most important consumer technology trends that marketers need to know. This data-rich report is a graphical analysis of a range of topics about consumers and technology and serves as a benchmark for US consumers’ level of technology adoption, usage, and attitudes. Our annual benchmark report is based on Forrester's Technographics® online benchmark survey that we've been fielding since 1998. We analyze our findings through a generational lens, including Gen Z, Gen Y, Gen X, Younger Boomers, Older Boomers, and the Golden Generation.

What did we find this year? All generations use more devices this year than a year ago, but which devices they use depends heavily on age. For example, 84% of Gen Zers (ages 18-27) use a smartphone and laptop, but only 44% use a desktop computer and 49% use a tablet. Their older Millennial counterparts, Gen Yers (ages 28 -36), have higher incomes and in addition to using smartphones and tablets, two-thirds use a tablet. In contrast, three-quarters of the Golden Generation (ages 72+) uses a desktop computer, and only a third use a smartphone. 

We also uncover interesting insights about wearables. Last year, we saw that consumer adoption of wearables reached 21%, and over a third of Gen Xers and Gen Yers used one. In 2016, we find that consumer interest in wearables is waning—just 14% of US online adults use one, and there are more consumers who report using one in the past than currently do.  

These are just a sneak peek at the insights we capture. Our analysis is based on Forrester’s annual online benchmark survey that we run in our North American Consumer Technographics program. The full data set includes almost 2,000 data points and data on more than 150 US brands. It is our biggest consumer survey — in fact, it's the biggest and longest-running survey of consumers and technology in the world — and it covers the impact of technology on a variety of consumer markets, including automotive, consumer technology, banking, healthcare, marketing, media, retail, and travel. For more information, contact data@forrester.com

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