Starcom Romania launches the 2021 edition of the Consumer Report study


Starcom România launches the 2021 edition of the benchmark Consumer Report study, which analyzes the behavior of Romanian consumers in terms of shopping preferences, online and offline content consumption, in-home and out-of-home activities and of using technology. Now in its 8th edition, the study provides particularly valuable information for understanding consumers and their behavioral changes.

The study considered four categories of consumers, as follows:

  • Families with children – families with children up to 14 years old, most aged between 18 and 45;
  • Teens – young people aged 14 to 17, mostly students;
  • young bachelor – aged 18 to 34, without children;
  • Families without children – most family members are over 45 and have no children under 14.

About this year’s edition

“Here we are at the eighth edition of Consumer Report, an edition in which we observe changes in the media consumption habits of Romanians, changes accentuated by the pandemic context. Year after year, Consumer Report is richer in information, tracking the main activities of Romanians in urban areas, offline and online shopping behaviors, core values ​​by age group and interesting new case studies based on the information of the 4 segments analyzed. In the interactive version, accessible on www.starcomblog.roin addition to the evolution of these behaviors compared to 2020 and 2019, you will find integrated a selection of studies that are part of the Starcom HumanGraphExperience series, the most popular being Black Friday and Influence Me,” said Andreea Zanfir, Consumer Information Manager, Starcom Romania.

The most important issues detailed in the Consumer Report 2021

Use of television and other devices

Smart TV continues to gain traction, with 2021 being the first year that smart devices are used to the same extent as traditional devices by the urban population. Teens and young people are early adopters of the new technology, both with double-digit increases over the previous year. At the same time, young men show the strongest increases: +16% among adolescents and +11% among young adults. Newer screen technologies are being adopted more quickly by older men, while tube sets have become an exception.

Online consumption

Ownership of devices (laptop, tablet, desktop, and console) declined during the pandemic period across all segments. Probably because people have started working from home and using office equipment. On the other hand, the time spent on the devices has increased, which shows that the main owners are also heavy users. Compared to the pre-pandemic period, there has been an increase in the number of smartphones across all segments, with people now preferring to access the internet more from this device.

Frequency of mobile use

We can see a decrease in weekly mobile activities. In most cases, people use the phone for socializing (especially families with children) and entertainment (especially teenagers). Using email or accessing news sites are two mobile activities that have increased over the past year.

Consumption of offline and online audio content

Online audio content is the preferred media content of young people, covering nearly 2/3 of the number of listeners. In 2021, around 3% of listeners have moved from offline to online. In terms of gender breakdown, we are seeing a significant increase in the number of women listening to audio content both online and offline. In terms of where we listen to, we notice that “Home” is the favorite place for families without children, while families with children prefer to listen to the radio in the car.

Radio programs & listening frequency

Overall radio consumption has declined from the first pandemic year, as listening frequency has declined, especially among younger targets in urban areas. Music also remains the main reason for listening to the radio this year. Newspapers lost listeners compared to 2020, mainly on mature targets.

Audio content: type of music and events

With no noticeable differences from last year, Pop/Disco/Dance music remains the favorite music of all age groups. Teenagers and young people are more attracted to Rap/Hip Hop music, especially men. Also, teens sometimes prefer music with more moving lyrics and more complex dance styles, such as Manele or Oriental music and Latin music. Rock music is listened to more by teenagers and young singles, while families prefer softer rhythms.

In terms of consumers’ favorite events, across the population, with no major gender differences, the most popular events are museum visits and music concerts. Young people tend to enjoy concerts more, while families tend to prefer theaters and museums.

Editorial content: offline versus online

Urban consumers read editorial content online and offline to the same extent, with teens and young singles being more interested in digital content. However, regardless of life stage, when we compare with 2020 data, we see strong decreases in both online and offline editorial content, most likely triggered by being able to read similar topics on social media. or published by influencers. All consumers favor short editorial content, reading on average less than 30 minutes per day.

Reading frequency and reading preferences

The percentage of people who do not read books has increased sharply, especially among adolescents, from 58% in 2020 to 72% in 2021, but also among families with children, from 64% in 2020 to 74% in 2021. adolescents prefer prose or poetry, most likely related to school obligations. There is a significant increase in science fiction book consumption among young single people compared to last year, with this genre topping their preferences. While in 2020 children’s books were by far the favorite of families with children, in 2021 they are on par with prose.

The percentage of people not reading e-books is down from 2020, especially among teens and young singles, with teens and young singles preferring to read more on a monthly or quarterly basis in 2021.

Weekly activities away from home and favorite sport

Most Romanians spend at least 3 hours a day away from home, mainly for walking or visiting friends/acquaintances. Young single people and teenagers are the categories that spend the most time outside their homes, because they have an active lifestyle.

At the level of the urban population as a whole, regardless of gender and age, the most popular sports remain football and athletics. Men prefer football and cycling, and women opt for other individual sports and athletics. For Singe Youth football remains their first choice, while this year we notice that in the preferences of teenagers, tennis is their first choice. For young women and adolescent girls, handball and individual sports are at the top of their list of preferences.

Weekly home activities

In terms of domestic activities, we find that women are traditionally mainly concerned with cooking and reading, while men focus more on various household repair and repair activities.

Buying behavior

In 2021, we are seeing an increase in brand loyalty in terms of overall shopping behavior, especially among families with children. Teens value the shopping experience more at different stores, while young singles are more price-sensitive than in 2020 (likely due to financial uncertainty and rising prices). In 2021, Romanians in urban areas are more attentive to the brand name and the price than to the characteristics of the product, whatever their stage of life. However, we notice a higher interest in special offers shown by families with children.


Although Romanians of all age groups continue to prefer the traditional form of shopping, online shopping has become more popular than last year among teenagers and young singles. In addition, growth is also expected among more mature consumer segments, due to a period of accelerated digitization. Small neighborhood shops remain the favorites of urban Romanians due to their proximity and immediate supply, but there is an increase in weekly visits to supermarkets and hypermarkets, especially among teenagers and young single people. The market remains popular with families.

Also, 2021 seems to have been the year when people paid the most attention to product pricing. Families with children remain the most price-oriented and attentive to delivery conditions when choosing an e-tailer, while teenagers are the most attracted by the site’s reputation and special offers (because they probably don’t have still own budget). Even though the majority of Romanians in urban areas continue to use cash on delivery, we are seeing a significant increase in payments on websites, especially among young single people.

In terms of preferred products, clothing and shoes remain the most purchased products online, especially among young single women. While young singles are the top buyers for most product types, we find that teenagers are more interested in cosmetics/personal care products (especially teenage girls) and families with children for major appliances (especially men).

Consumer values

All segments continue to be driven by the need for something to happen, this year more visible among Teens, as they are also the most active. In 2021, the need to connect was replaced by the need to believe, being a statement of positivity and moving forward in today’s environment. Young singles continue to want control of their lives and desire more to succeed, while segments of families remain attached to their loved ones, driven by the need for love.


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