The limitation of populations’ circulation and the products and services developed by Telekom Romania to meet the connectivity and entertainment needs during this period have directly impacted the telekom.ro website, its traffic surged with a significant 77%. Telekom Romania thus ran a survey to figure how the consumers’ behaviour has changed and what will be the new consuming habits. The survey has been ran on telekom.ro during April 23-29 2020, and was answered by over 5.000 people.
Applications to stay connected with the office colleagues
The enforcing of the state of emergency has significantly changed the working ways. According to the survey, over 34.7% of respondents work from home. They mainly use Skype to communicate with their teams (22,9% of respondents). The second place in popularity belongs to Zoom application with 20,6% of responses, followed by Microsoft Teams with 11.9%, Google Hangouts with 11.5%, Skype for business with 7.6% and WhatsApp with 5.6%.
When we talk about spending time on social networks, Facebook remains the preferred platform for 35.5% of respondents. In second place is YouTube (28.9%), then the other applications: Instagram (11.2%), TikTok (6%), Pinterest (4.8%), Reddit (4.7%), LinkedIn (4.2%), Snapchat (3.7%) and Twitter with (2.8%).
Anticipating this trend, Telekom Romania has adopted, since the beginning of March, a new Social Media strategy, offering users various activities, such as book and movie recommendations, live improvisation shows, live cooking, concerts, contests, to keep them active and to allow them to enjoy from the comfort of their own home what they enjoy. Education, development through culture and art, passions, all this must continue, with the help of technology. The new Social Media strategy, as well as the press conferences organized online are meant to keep Romania connected, this being the new mission of the telecommunications operator.
Telecommunications services used in the current general context
The Internet is the most used communications service used by 38.6% of respondents. 34.4% of them use mobile telephony, 24.3% use television service and only 0.7% use fixed telephony. These behaviours are also visible in relation to Telekom services and products. In the first 2 weeks of April, the traffic on the telekom.ro site increased by 77%, compared to February of the same year.
“Romanians’ preferences regarding the online payment of invoices and online shopping change depending on the current general context. We have a tripling compared to Q1 of last year and a 35% jump compared to the 4th quarter, of the number of consumers who use e-commerce in relation to Telekom, which shows us that the digital consumption habits of Romanians have changed during this period. Online payment of the invoices increased rapidly, by 168%, in April compared to February. We keep up with these changes, which is why we have encouraged and encourage the adoption of the MyAccount Telekom mobile application, for easier and more secure management of the account and services used, including their online payment. As customers interact with both the mobile app and the company’s website, we noticed a 42 percentage point increase in online operations and came to meet them by creating new processes such as diagnosing and repairing the technical faults remotely or confirmation and respectively the delay of payment”, said Ionuţ Pascu, Digitization Director, Telekom Romania.
Online payments versus offline payments
The circulation restrictions have led to the adoption of online payments for utility and service invoices. Thus, 44% of respondents pay all bills online, 30.7% online, but also physically, and 25.3% pay them only physically, because, in their opinion, this type of payment gives them security.
Bare necessity online shopping versus bare necessity offline shopping
According to Eurostat, in 2019, 23% of the population shopped online, and now even in the current general context, 55% of respondents continue to go shopping in physical stores, taking the protection measures recommended by the authorities, 27,1% made their supplies in time and do not go to the store so often, 25.3% do their shopping in physical stores, but also online and only 7.8% turned exclusively to suppliers to purchase their necessities. As a frequency, 43.4% go shopping once or twice a week, 38.5% less than once a week, 6.6% of respondents go shopping every day, 1.4% of 5-6 times a week and 10.1% 3-4 times a week.
Half of those who responded to the survey mainly use a mobile phone to place an order, 42.2% use a laptop or desktop and only 7.4% use a tablet.
The transition from direct communication to large-scale digital tools implies the need to adapt, collaborate and deliver performance at the highest possible level in the current circumstances. As the preferred online ordering platform, 32.8% of respondents use both mobile applications and web pages to place an order to a merchant, 29,5% use the web page, 14.1% use the dedicated application, and 23.6% of respondents do not use either, and buy their products directly by phone call, e-mail or go directly to the physical store. Telekom Romania has simplified its service portfolio and launched a series of initiatives to improve the customer experience, with a focus on digital interaction. Telekom Romania has encouraged and encourages the adoption of the account management application, MyAccount Telekom, for easier management of the account and the services used, including their online payment.
The activities of spending time at home
Among the activities at home, the online survey revealed that in the current general context: 72% of respondents said they spend their free time with family activities, 58% watch TV series and movies, 31% learn new things, 23% do sports at home, 11% run in the vicinity of the house and 7% have other activities.
The results also confirms that the launch of Smart TV Stick, the offer with which customers can turn their TV into a Smart TV, responds to the way they choose to spend their free time at home. The Smart TV Stick offer includes access to up to 47 relevant online TV channels for Romanians (news, sports, music, movies), available through the Telekom TV platform and the Google Chromecast device, which allows users to play the content of applications on their smartphone, directly on the TV screen
A premiere that confirms the global trends is the gradual adoption of telemedicine, with 4% of respondents saying they use this way of caring for their personal health. For non-medical emergencies during this period, 61,1% of respondents said they use the advice of a family doctor, 23.9% wait until the restrictions are lifted to go to the doctor, 14.2% call the approved phone numbers, 11.8% use the medical application on the phone, 5.5% take protective measures and go to the hospital.
Which of the digital habits do the Romanians intend to keep
The respondents to the online survey also stated which are the digital habits they want to keep after the relaxation of the circulation restrictions: online payment of bills is also the digital habit that most Romanians would like to maintain in the future. (59% of respondents), followed by online shopping (42.7%) and 24.5% would like to keep in touch with doctors remotely (through applications or telemedicine).