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A look back at the results from our 2016 global studies

by Greg Kaminsky , 09.12.2016

Did you know that, each month, we publish country-by-country findings on a new topic from our international study? As 2016 comes to a close, let’s take a look back at the survey results and the sentiments from consumers around the world.

Reasons for trying to look good

For the first month of 2016, we looked at people’s reasons for trying to look good and the time they spend on personal grooming. What we found in this study was that peoples’ top three motivations for wanting to “look their best” are in order to feel good about themselves, to make a good impression on people they meet for the first time, and to set a good example for their children. Italians, Argentinians and Americans spend the most time on personal grooming each week, and the top three motivations for looking good change depending on respondents’ ages.

Virtual interactions

In February, we looked at virtual interactions, asking participants if they felt that virtual interactions can be “as good as being there”. Internationally, 23% of online consumers agreed that virtual interactions with people and places can be as good as being there in person. Brazil and Turkey have the highest level of agreement, while Germany and Sweden disagreed with the statement the most. Internet users aged 20-29 and 30-39 years old were the age groups most likely to agree.

Company responsibilities

Company responsibility was the topic for March. We asked over 27,000 people worldwide to select the top three most important responsibilities for companies today. The three most important were providing good jobs for people (47%), producing good quality products or services (41%) and being environmentally responsible (37%).

Enjoy life today and save later

For April, we discovered that savers just outnumber fun-lovers internationally, asking people in 22 regions if they want to “enjoy life today and worry about savings and investments later”. We found that women are more likely to be savings-minded, and that twenty-somethings beat teenagers on highest percentage of fun-lovers. Out of all the regions surveyed, Hong Kong was the only region where over half of the online population favored saving today.

Pet ownership

In May, we studied which countries have the biggest percentage of pet owners, and what kind of pets were the most popular. Among the results were that over half of people internationally have a pet living with them, and that Argentina, Mexico and Brazil have the highest percentage of pet-owners, while Asians are least likely to own a pet.

Always reachable

For the month of June, we asked participants how strongly they agree or disagree that “to me, it is important to always be reachable, wherever I am”. Nearly half (42%) of the connected population internationally firmly agreed with the “always reachable” mindset, while 11% firmly disagreed. Germany, Sweden, Canada and Netherlands had the highest level of disagreement with the importance of being always reachable.

Safety and security concerns

Are consumers always concerned about their safety and security? This was our focus question for July, and we found that 32% of the online population firmly agree that they are “always concerned about my safety and security”. Brazil and Turkey have the highest levels of safety concern, while Sweden, Germany and Netherlands lead for feeling safe. Age has little impact on numbers concerned for personal safety and security.

Home improvement

Home improvement aspirations was the topic for August, looking at which aspects of the home that people would most like to improve if they could. 39% of those surveyed chose the “interior décor or design” of their home as the area most needing improvement, while “the overall size or layout” and “the furniture” closely followed (38% and 35%, respectively). Women were more likely to choose décor, while men were more concerned about the size and layout of their homes.

Health and fitness tracking

September showed us that a third of the people surveyed track their health or fitness using an online or mobile application, or using a fitness band, clip, or smartwatch. China leads all countries in this trend, with 45% of its online population monitoring their health and fitness. Brazil and USA are at 29%, with Germany (28%) and France (26%) following. China, Russia, France, Australia and Canada have more women tracking their health or fitness than men.

Physical concerns around aging

For the month of October, we looked at consumers’ physical concerns around aging and which conditions they worried most about having now or in the future. Internationally, the top five concerns are eyesight getting poorer, not being as mentally alert, lacking energy, having trouble taking care of themselves physically, and losing mobility / being unable to walk or drive. In Russia, “losing your teeth” was a top five concern, while “getting wrinkles or sagging skin” rated highly in Japan and Korea.

Helping others

The final topic for 2016 looked at how often people in different countries help others or do volunteer work. People in the Netherlands and the USA are the most generous with their time, with a quarter of their online populations helping others or doing volunteer work at least once a week or more. They are followed by Mexicans at 22%. Internationally, less than a quarter of people say they never help others or do volunteer work.