Americans prefer to stay plugged into the latest in technology, inflation slows ownership of home tech products, and PayPal still rules the digital payment space  – here are the leading insights from the latest CivicScience Technology and Electronics Report (a link to the full report is available at the bottom).

More American consumers are keying into the latest tech.

According to recent CivicScience data, three out of five U.S. adults (61%) report they keep track of the latest tech trends. But it’s not just trends Americans are following; they also want to ensure their devices are the latest and greatest. Young Millennials and Gen Z adults, in particular, say they’re upgrading to the newest devices even if their current ones still work.

In addition to skewing younger, CivicScience polling also finds that consumers who buy the latest tech devices are more than twice as likely to regularly dine at upscale restaurants, be fans of TV documentaries, and closely follow the National Hockey League.

Despite a year of growth, Americans hit the pause button on buying home tech products.

While ownership of home tech products has grown across the board over the past year, higher prices driven by inflation have largely stalled growth within the industry since Q2 2022. Smart speakers remain the most popular, though Mesh WiFi showed the most significant jump in ownership with a 13% increase between Q3 2021 and Q3 2022. 

Gauging products by intent, home security cameras command the most interest, as roughly one-quarter of consumers are interested in purchasing.

Interestingly, despite the relatively high percentage of ownership of home tech products, September data show U.S. adults are more likely to distrust some of these products in their ability to protect user data and privacy.

In digital payments, PayPal reigns but its share among overall payment methods remains small.

PayPal is still the top dog among digital payment services. Over one-third of digital wallet users (34%) primarily use PayPal. Its dominance in the preference of users has slipped slightly as competitors Google Pay and Apple Pay have enjoyed gains of at least two percentage points since February.

Acceptance levels of digital payment (wallet) options among stores and vendors remain a hindrance, keeping overall usage among consumers well below that of more traditional forms of payment. According to the latest CivicScience data, only 6% of respondents report using a digital wallet as their primary payment method. Most Americans still rely on debit and credit cards to make purchases, with nearly three-quarters (72%) using them most often to complete transactions.

Venmo is in a prime position to gain on competitors.  

A recent move by Amazon looks to upend the digital payment market, announcing that the online shopping giant will now accept Venmo as a valid payment method. Data collected immediately following this change show that 18% of Amazon shoppers are at least ‘somewhat likely’ to pay using Venmo, signaling the opportunity for Venmo to make headway within the digital payment industry. 

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