5 digital shifts that are changing businesses

5 digital shifts that are changing businesses


1. Device shift – from PCs to smartphones/ tablet devices.

We are now seeing smart phones in everyone’s hands, with a reported 65% of Australians owning one. Australia now ranks second in the world in terms of smartphone penetration! But it’s not just smart phones taking over. Tablets are popular too with a reported 31% of households owning one (a figure that is expected to rise to 50% in 2014). Australians are not only accessing the internet of these devices but 67% use their mobile to access social media.


2. Communication shift – from voice to data and video

Our traditional form of communication has diminished from emails and phone calls to primarily online. Time spent on social networks is increasing with 47% in 2013 using social media everyday (up from 30% in 2012).

Gone are the days when our phone plans were all about how many calls we could make, it’s now all about data limit. When we are using our phones, 69% of us are sending and receiving emails65% are accessing the internet at least once a day and 51% of Australian smart phone owner’s use search every day (e.g. Google). As well as browsing the internet, 65% of smart phone users watch videos, with 14% watching at least one video each day.


3. Social shift – from growth to steady.

Social networking represents almost a quarter of all internet time. On average, Facebook users spend around 18 minutes on the site each time they access it. If the average time spent is multiplied by the average number of usage occasions, the typical user would spend more than 7 hours per week on the site, an additional hour a week compared to last year. LinkedIn, Twitter and MySpace users tend to spend less time when logged on, averaging around 9 to 10 minutes per visit.

You may follow (religiously I hope) our blog giving you the stats of social media users in Australia for each month. If you do follow this you would have noticed from January – May this year, the number of social media users, particularly for the large networking sites (such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.), were declining with many users deactivating their accounts. It’s only been in the second half of this year where we have seen these numbers picking themselves back up with users’ accounts in Australia on the rise.


4. TV shift – from broadcast viewing to on demand.

Let me give you a quick way to digest these stats:

  • Gen Z’s time spent online increased from 1 hour 53 minutes to 3 hours 24 minutes per weekday; and from 4 hours 33 minutes to 7 hours 38 minutes on weekends. This represents an approx. increase of 70%-80%!
  • Gen Y has experienced the same shift. The  average time they spend online has risen from 1 hour 33 minutes to 3 hours 11 minutes per weekday and 2 hours 48 minutes to 5 hours 58  minutes on weekends. This represents an approx. increase of 110%!
  •  Gen Y’s TV viewing time has dropped significantly too as a result.

See a pattern here? Online goes up, TV comes down.

  • Baby Boomers on average are watching an average of 7 hours and 20 minutes on weekends, up from 6 hours 59 minutes in 2005 (must be all those House Husbands & Packed to the Rafters season renewals). Although baby boomers have also taken to the internet, their usage has not affected their TV intake.
  • Gen X is also spending less time watching television and more on the internet, although their habits haven’t changed as dramatically as Gens Y’s and Z’s.Gen X is also spending less time watching television and more on the internet,  although their habits haven’t changed as dramatically as Gens Y’s and Z’s.

These stats however do not mean that generations Z & Y are taking no interest in TV at all (personally, I can’t get enough of it!). The average Australian aged 14+ watches an average 19 hours 18 minutes’ worth of TV per week, ahead of the average 16 hours 10 minutes they spend online. We are now just consuming our TV (among other things) in different ways, primarily online. Online, on demand and in our own time!

George Pesutto, Industry Director at Roy Morgan Research says:

“All media is facing the challenge of ensuring their content can be consumed online, and this is going to become more crucial into the future. Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets allow us to access all our media ‘on the go’, whether it’s reading the newspaper or streaming radio on the train or watching that TV show you missed on your tablet. This all counts as time spent online, and its growing popularity shows that people expect their media be available at their convenience, no matter where they happen to be at the time.”

Food for thought if you want to build a long term relationship with Gen’s Z&Y.


5. Retail shift – In store to ‘out store’. 

We are no strangers to the takeoff, of online shopping and the decline of in store purchases.


  • Australians spent $24.3 billion online in the 12 months to March 2013, a yearly increase of 11.9% – total retail sales rose just 3.4% for the same period.
  • The average online shopper spends $285 per four week period. Top categories purchased are: Travel, Entertainment & Leisure, Electronics, Fashion and Food & Beverages respectively.
  • Online shoppers are going into stores less often: 23% of online shoppers go to stores less often now, compared to 10% in 2003.


The online world has had a tremendous growth and transformation of the retail landscape and now that we have more devices to do such things (tablets, smartphones etc.) e-commerce will continue to transform the shopping experience (both in store and online).


These 5 digital trends will continue to shift, grow and transform (and fast)! Therefore it’s essential for businesses to keep up to date with how people (particularly the new generations) are now using traditional and new digital devices and media.  Feel free to share your thoughts with us!


Stacks of stats courtesy of:


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