Commentary

Consumers Stay Connected By More Video Conferencing During Pandemic

Professional and social gatherings have migrated to shared video.

During the past week, 20% of U.S. households used video and conference call platforms like Zoom and Slack, according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).

That’s up 8% over the last three weeks.

Household use of streaming video services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, dropped slightly (4%) to 52% of households over the holiday weekend, based on the CTA Tech Tracker, comprising regular surveys of 1,000 U.S. households, which monitors the purchase and use of tech during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Many Americans spent the holiday weekend celebrating a virtual Seder or Easter from their homes," states Lesley Rohrbaugh, director of research, CTA. "The holiday celebrations likely led to another week-over-week jump in the use of platforms such as Zoom and Slack to connect with family members and tune into religious services.”

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Consumers also are shopping online more from home.

Curbside pickup of grocery and retail items increased 3% to 15% of households during the last three weeks.

Other tech use continued, including online streaming music (33%), streaming live TV (25%), online multiplayer game services (19%), gaming livestream services (12%) and gaming services (8%).

Tech purchasing increased in most categories, including smartphones (18%), headphones/earbuds (16%), TVs (13%) and tablets (12%).

Consumers also are leaning on social media, with nearly half (45%) of households using social media platforms.

Consumers are at home but staying digitally connected to the outside world, much of which also is inside.

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