Though social networking is the most online activity in emerging countries like India, the craze is almost getting perished in countries like the U.S., the U.K, and Australia. Recently we had reported that though Facebook is quite a popular social networking channel, 61% of respondents said that they had taken break from the site for at least once in the past, 20% of them were no longer with Facebook and the rest 8% of them did not currently use Facebook but showed interest to rejoin the site again in future.
Experian Marketing Services, a global provider of integrated consumer insight, targeting and cross channel marketing, reveals that if the time spent on the Internet for personal computers was distilled into an hour then 27% of it would be spent on social networking and forums across U.S., U.K and Australia. In the U.S., 16 minutes out of every hour online is spent on social networking and forums, 9 minutes on entertainment sites and 5 minutes shopping.
Insights from the study
In the UK. 13 minutes out of every hour online is spent on social networking and forums, 9 minutes on entertainment sites and 6 minutes for shopping. On the other hand, Australian Internet users spend 14 minutes on social sites, 9 minutes on entertainment and 4 minutes for shopping online.
Across all three markets, time spent on shopping online grew year-on-year, but the UK market emerged as having the most productive online shoppers, spending proportionally more time on retail websites than online users in North America or Australia. The UK users spent 10% of their time enjoying shopping experience online in 2012, compared to 9% in the U.S. and 6% in Australia. This bump can be due to the Christmas season in the UK where 370 million hours were spent shopping online, 24% higher than the monthly average.
This correlates with another report which says smartphone users often make purchases through their mobile devices. We have already discussed mobile shopping during the last holiday season which reached to its all time highest. Besides, online spending in the last holiday season surpassed even $1 billion figure in a single day, thanks to incredible participation of smartphone in purchases. More importantly, in 2012, 75% and 72% smartphone users in the U.A.E. and U.K. respectively did mobile shopping via credit/debit card mode of payments.
According to another report by ComScore last year had released its report on holiday e-Commerce which revealed that, for the first 44 days of the November-December 2012 holiday season (from November 3 to December 16), the online spending figure reached to $33.8 billion, up 13% compared to the same period of the last year.
Interestingly, consumption of news content mounted up in all the three markets. Australian users seem to be avid news readers as 6% of all time spent online in Australia in 2012 was on news website, compared to 5% in the UK and 4% in the U.S.
However, the time spent on social media has declined across all three regions compared to other online activities. The U.S., which has been the most dominant market for social media consumption in the last three years dropped from 30% of all time spent online to 27%. In Australia time spent on social plunged from 27% to 24% while in the UK 3% loss compared to the last year-over-year.
“Understanding consumer behavior across channels is more important than ever as more visits are being made on the move, particularly among social networking and email,” says Bill Tancer, general manager of global research for Experian Marketing Services. “With smart phones and tablets becoming more powerful, our data clearly indicates the difference between mobile and traditional desktop usage further enabling the ’always on’ consumer mentality. Marketers need to understand these differences, as well as regionally, to ensure campaigns can be tailored for better and more effective engagement.”
Coming to mobile browsing, consumers in the U.S. spent about 15% of their time using social applications during the first quarter of 2013. Email made up for 23% of time spent on mobile during the quarter. Entertainment had the third highest time spent with 13%, followed by Shopping with 11% and Travel with 9%.