Power base: Early digital adopters

Retailers are utilizing technology to connect with digital-savvy consumers

Early digital adopters care more about the experience than the cost

Our survey of more than 1,000 consumers nationwide found that early digital adopters are less price-conscious and have higher expectations than consumers overall. Tech options resonate with early digital adopters: they are open to delivery by drone—shop via smart-home technology—and utilize mobile apps for payment. A boon for retailers, these early digital adopters are discriminating big spenders. They expect more, buy more, and spend more. They are less price-conscious and have higher expectations than consumers overall.

Mobile apps increase brand loyalty and spending

The ease of mobile pay and personalization included with these apps has caused a surge in digital transactions with early digital adopters. Analysts estimate mobile payment will surge more than 16-fold between 2012 and 2020 as consumers adapt to the increasingly prevalent technology. The practice is explosively popular in parts of the world that don’t have credit card infrastructure in place.

Early digital adopters want influencers not experts

More willing to trust their peers than experts, early digital adopters told us they seek inspiration on social media, often from someone they look up to in specialized areas such as fashion, skateboarding, cooking, gaming, make-up tips, and more. Their willingness to try new digital options allows them to exert the kind of ripple effect of influence that media companies nurture in their staunchest of fans.

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The retail evolution: Combining tech and human interaction for a compelling customer experience

Our retail evolution series examines four tech-enabled approaches that retailers are deploying to provide shoppers with a superior customer experience. They are using deliberate strategies, focused on building advantage from their existing strengths. 

Power Base: Early Digital Adopters is the third report in the series focused on early digital adopters and their influence on retailers as well as their peers. Tech options resonate with early digital adopters. The use of mobile apps to pay for transactions has surged and these early digital adopters are driving this change. 

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How PwC can help

PwC's Consumer markets is a leading financial accountingtax and advisory practice serving a broad spectrum of service, merchandising and manufacturing organizations. High-growth tech start-ups, food manufacturers, airlines, hotels, and retail outlets are among countless organizations that rely on our integrated knowledge and tailored solutions to succeed nationally or globally.

At PwC, we understand the challenges and we see the opportunities—addressing change at the convergence of powerful industries is where we thrive. PwC’s multi-disciplinary, global team of consulting, tax and assurance professionals can help you turn innovation into practice and practice into growth.

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Tyson Cornell

Consumer Markets Industry Leader, PwC US

Eric Shin

Consumer Markets Tax Leader, PwC US

Tom Puthiyamadam

Digital Products & Consumer Markets Advisory Leader, PwC US

Melissa Palmer

Consumer Markets Assurance Leader, PwC US

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