In January 2014, we surveyed 10,000 U.S. consumers about their channel preferences for performing 11 different activities—such as opening an investment account or applying for a new credit card—and the frequency with which they perform common cross-channel activities. This data snapshot breaks down the results by age, examining how channel preferences and cross-channel activity levels vary across age groups. It also analyzes how cross-channel activity levels differ by mobile phone types.
A key component of the research examines how consumers would like to complete 11 different interactions with companies. For seven of the activities, using a computer was the most popular or tied for the most popular channel. At the high end, 71% of consumers want to go online to check the delivery status of a purchase they’ve made. Two-thirds of consumers would prefer to go online to update their address on an account, purchase a new book, and check the balance on a saving or checking account.
But consumers do not want to do everything online. Less than one-third of consumers want to go online to open a new investment account or investigate a mistake in their monthly wireless bill. When it comes to resolving a technical problem on their computers or investigating a mistake on their cell phone bills, consumers most prefer talking to someone over the phone. And they want to meet in-person for activities such as purchasing a new auto insurance policy, selecting a life-insurance policy, and opening a new investment account.
Here are some additional findings from the research:
> Across every age group, consumers most preferred to go online to update their address, check the balance on their savings or checking accounts, check the delivery status of a purchase, and purchase a book.
> The phone is the preferred channel for more than half of consumers 55 and older who are investigating a mistake on their wireless bill and consumers 65 and older who are trying to resolve a technical issue with their computer.
> Meeting with someone in person is the preferred channel for more than half of consumers 45 and older who want to open a new investment account, consumers 75 and older who want to purchase a new auto insurance policy, and consumers 55 and older who want to select a life insurance policy.
> Forty-three percent of consumers check competitors’ prices on their mobile phone when they are in a store.
> iPhone users are the most likely to do all of the cross-channel activities examined in the research while Windows Mobile users are the least likely (out of the four major mobile phone platforms).