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Webby Awards Consumer Research Shows High-tech Service Economy Has Created Extraordinary Expectations Among Consumers


Contact: Anne Muscarella

(212) 918-2044






Instant Gratification, A Decision-Free Lifestyle, Complete Transparency, and Seamless Experiences Rank as the Top Entitlements of Modern Day Consumers

89% expect to be able to schedule a service whenever they need it, 90% of consumers expect their customer service needs to be handled in real-time.

(New York) November 4, 2014 — The Webby Awards today released research, which reveals that, consumer expectations are at an all-time high, with 89% percent of American adults saying when using any service, they expect to be able to schedule a service “whenever they need it.” The data supports this year’s Webby Awards trend: “At Your Service,” which explores how the Internet is enabling next-generation, high-touch, high-impact services and is creating the most entitled consumer the world has ever seen.

“Consumers have not only acclimated but come to expect the unparalleled service and convenience of the modern day Internet economy,” said Webby Executive Director, David-Michel Davies. “Customers are comfortable interacting with companies on the Internet at a very intimate level, presenting a unique opportunity for these companies to provide truly extraordinary customer experience.

The data, from an online survey conducted by Harris Poll among over 2,000 U.S. adults aged 18+ on behalf of the Webby Awards in September 2014, reveals that today’s digitally savvy consumers have come to expect the heightened level of service and added convenience for even their most personal product and service needs.

The Webby Awards have broken down these modern consumer expectations into four key entitlements:

Instant Gratification

Many consumers now expect on-demand and real-time conveniences to be available in every day life: 90 percent of American adults say when using a service, they expect real-time customer service and 89% expect to be able to schedule a service whenever they need it.

A Decision-Free Lifestyle

Consumers have also acclimated to the many services – Pandora, Netflix, Trunkclub, etc. – that learn their personal taste and make decisions for them. 53% of Americans say when using any service, they expect the service or service provider to learn their tastes and make purchase suggestions for them.

Complete Transparency

Customer reviews are not a new phenomenon, however today’s consumers place premium on the accessibility of this information and the predictability and transparency they provide. 85% of consumers say when using any service, they expect customer reviews to be provided publicly.

Seamless Experiences

The streamlined and seamless experiences pioneered by companies like Apple, Amazon and Zipcar have become something modern Americans expect in all customer interactions. 87% of consumers say when using any service, they expect free shipping/delivery options when placing an order and 78% of consumers expect payments and checkouts to be handled automatically.

The data indicates these consumer expectations are likely to increase over time. When asked to project five years into the future, Americans responded with the following:

  • 79% expect same-day delivery will be available for items typically found on sites like Amazon.
  • 48% believe there will be a service that sends products to them before they’ve been ordered.
  • 52% anticipate most of their current interactions with service people (cashiers, cab drivers, waiters, etc.) will be handled by Internet services and apps.

The Webby Awards entry deadline to submit works for consideration is December 19 2014. Nominees will be announced April 2014, with the hallmark Webby Awards ceremony held later in Spring 2014.


This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of The Webby Awards from September 2-4, 2014 among 2,017 adults ages 18 and older. The online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey results and methodology, please contact Anne Muscarella at anne@high10media.com.

About The Webby Awards:

Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by The New York Times, The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet, including Websites, Interactive Advertising & Media, Online Film & Video, Mobile & Apps, and Social. Established in 1996, The Webby Awards received 12,000 entries from all 50 states and over 60 countries worldwide this year. The Webby Awards is presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS). Sponsors and Partners of The Webby Awards include: Microsoft, Dell, Vitamin T, Leica, MailChimp, Engine Yard, Funny or Die, AdAge, Percolate, BuzzFeed, Mashable, HLN, Business Insider, Creative Bloq, Lurzer’s Archive, Tubefilter, Internet Week New York, and Guardian News and Media.

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