UK adults spend an average of 21.6 hours online each week. So, what (relevant things) are they up to online?
Ofcom’s new “media literacy” report has uncovered several key findings for ecommerce marketers to dribble over.
The communications regulator surveyed 1,841 adults to investigate shifts in how people are engaging with online content and services.
We read the report – word for word – so you don’t have to. You’re busy people, we get it. You’re welcome.
Laptops are the device ‘mostly’ used for buying things online; 37% of adults who have ever bought something online say they have used this device, 18% on PC (55% combined), with less than a quarter (24%) preferring a smartphone.
This data contrasts with a considerable rise in retail mobile traffic, suggesting that consumers are yet to be lured onto the buy button on their mobile devices.
Perhaps surprisingly, it was respondents from the 25-34 age group that were most likely to give an incorrect response to this question.
One in five (18%) users think that if a website is listed on a search engine results page, it must contain accurate and unbiased information.
When shown sponsored links on a search engine’s results page, one in five (23%) said they were ‘the best results/the most relevant results’; 20% said they were ‘the most popular results used by other people’.
There’s a big increase in those watching weekly, from 39% in 2014 to 48% in 2015.
This revolution is mobile, too, with video clips most commonly watched on a smartphone, particularly among younger adults.
However, over the same period, there has been no change in the extent of internet users’ willingness to enter personal details online.
Two-thirds (65%) of adults with a social media profile visit any social media site or app more than once a day, unchanged since 2014. This rises to 85% of 16-24s.
Smartphones are the preferred device for five out of nine online activities, including social media, listening to streamed music, watching short video clips, looking at news websites or apps, and surfing or browsing online (however, not shopping).
The report found that there has been a considerable increase in the proportion of adults who only use devices other than a PC/laptop (e.g. smartphones and tablets) to go online, indicating that these devices are no longer just supplementing PCs/laptops, but are starting to replace them.
While seven in ten adults (70%) use any device, the majority use them on smartphones (57%), while 27% use them on tablets, and 21% on laptops or netbooks.
There is a clear preference among app users for accessing content through apps rather than browsers, unless they are making transactions or looking at news content, where browser use is more popular.
The majority of internet users send or receive email, use instant messaging and look at social media sites or apps at least weekly.
The most popular activities online are sending and receiving email (93%), using instant messaging (78%), looking at social media sites or apps (76%) and uploading or sharing videos or photos (70%).
Reading online reviews is more popular than posting online comments. While more than three-quarters of internet users (78%) ever read reviews, only four in ten (39%) have ever written them.
Ofcom’s latest report paints a pretty picture for ecommerce marketers, with online shopping on the rise, search remaining subtle, and a marked consumer willingness to share data online.
The study sheds an interesting light on where consumers prefer to transact, with many opting for the more traditional laptop/PC over mobile devices, even in the face of increased traffic.
Some of the more interesting stats come from search, with the majority of respondents trusting the paid listings from Google implicitly, and habit, with a big chunk of respondents indicating that they only use websites or apps that they’ve used before.
Food for thought, eh?
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