Internet, Pandemic And How Our Consumption Habits Have Changed A Year Later

During this last pandemic year, thousands of citizens have seen their lives change. Some changes that have affected their health, their economy and their consumption habits. In fact, in the latter the role of technology and the Internet has been fundamental.

The comparator Acierto.com analyzes to what extent, and that is because the coronavirus crisis has accelerated the digitization of companies in very diverse sectors , has triggered online sales and a long etcetera that the platform analyzes in more detail. Because, will these habits be maintained in the long run?

Traffic goes up 50% in one year
Thus and according to the data handled by the entity, internet traffic has increased by 50% since March of last year . The rise reached all-time highs coinciding with the declaration of the State of Alarm and other significant dates.

Specifically, almost 2 out of 4 Spaniards claim to now take advantage of the possibilities of the network more , and that they use more applications and programs than before the pandemic. This includes the use of electronic signatures, financial apps and video calls, for example.

This year almost 50% have done one, and now 1 in 4 do them daily. Online shopping has been another of the great beneficiaries. According to the data analyzed, 3 out of 4 households have made online purchases during this period. And up to 70% say they will continue to buy this way from now on .

The most popular products are electronics, fashion, sports equipment and books. Although there is a drop in food products with respect to the start of the pandemic. “The online channel allows to carry out a more thoughtful purchase and in which it is possible to compare. In fact, before the pandemic 93% affirmed to do it before buying. Although this did not always imply that the acquisition process ended online.”

Online entertainment, another cause
Our consumption of streaming content and the use of social networks also increased. Regarding this first, experts consider that 2020 was the year of streaming , since it was at the center of our entertainment and our social relationships. Series, movies, games, video calls, they were our best company.

Currently and although consumption has begun to normalize , it has not recovered pre-pandemic levels nor is it expected to do so. Especially in regard to entertainment and older users – who are over 55 years old and who had not yet made the leap to video streaming platforms. Regarding social networks, the pandemic increased its use by 27%

The forced digitization of companies
In parallel and fried of the situation, there were many companies that were forced to digitize at forced marches and in record time. In the case of SMEs, around 70% have done so. Until then only 14% had a digital strategy or were developing it. The most common initiatives have been testing e-commerce platforms (86%) and networking profiles for their businesses (85%).

In fact, this transformation has been key in mitigating the effects of the pandemic . The crux of the matter, also, is that almost 8 out of 10 of them consider that online activity will continue to be basicto maintain your business from now on. However, there are still many challenges ahead, such as the training of workers and teams, the change in culture and organizational structure, the need for a new regulatory framework and financing of R & D & I projects … and more .

The implementation of teleworking also required, in many cases, the implementation of new digital services. The question is whether this working formula will be maintained in the long run. According to the analyzed data, 80% of leaders hope to facilitate teleworking for their workers after the entire crisis is over.

The darkest side of digitization
Unfortunately, this digitization has also brought with it problems directly related to the misuse of the network . We are talking about issues such as the increase in online bullying, the increase in cyberattacks (especially against SMEs), the consequences derived from the lack of digital disconnection, and the like. Specifically, 88% of parents believe that confinement and the pandemic have been a trigger for new forms of bullyingand for the transfer of bullying to the networks.

In fact, 3 out of 10 have been informed of a case of this type in their children’s center in the last year. In addition, 95% of Spaniards affirm that social networks and the internet are new means to harass and that they have aggravated bullying, and that they make it difficult for teachers to manage.

With regard to cyberattacks , they have exploded both in the domestic sphere and in the business sphere. Regarding the former, online scams, phishing and malware have particularly grown and only last year security breaches in Spanish companies increased by 25%.

This not only has to do with the security of the platforms, but also with individual risk behaviors – such as the creation of secure passwords, updating of equipment, the use of secure networks … That is precisely why it has also grown by 41 % contracting insurance against cyber risks.

This type of insurance takes care of the restoration of the equipment if a hacker hacks them, of the investigation if customer data is stolen, of claims for data leakage, business interruption, and even in many cases of the extortion and fraud. In the case of individuals , it is interesting to know that many home insurance include 24-hour computer assistance, and even the assistance of a technician at home in case of failure.

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