NetImperative.com published a number of latest stats on internet usage this week. But what does it all mean?
Rise and Fall of the Internet
So you probably thought that everybody that wanted to use the internet at home probably already has access. Well according to the latest numbers from Nielsen (featured on NetImperative) there is still room for growth in major markets. The US and UK saw significant growth, 10.4% and 3.1% respectively. There was also growth of over 1% in Australia, Italy and Germany with more modest growths in Japan and Brazil. Most startling isn’t the fact that some markets have continued to grow, more that some major markets have declined, including France, Spain and Switzerland.
Whilst I don’t think the numbers should be read in pure black and white terms, it does demonstrate the issues of using data on such a small time frame and not looking at longer term trends. The data was based only on May 09 Vs June 09. If you were to read this on face value, it would seem USA is leading the way on the internet whilst some mainland European counties are turning their backs on the Internet, which obviously isn’t true. I am not 100% certain but I can’t imagine the numbers Nielsen uses takes into account convergance and the growing move towards accessing the internet on mobile devices such as the Apple iPhone or the HTC Google phone. This is also set to continue with newer style netbooks with mobile broadband capability built-in.
Top Social Networking Channels
So Facebook are the kings of social networking. That is the widely held view and judging from the Hitwise numbers featured in NetImperative show that it represents 47% of all UK visits to social networking sites. Interestingly Bebo has twice the traffic of Twitter and MySpace. Another dark horse that many people completely ignore is Yahoo!Answers with 1.19% of all traffic.
Whilst these numbers prove that Facebook cannot be ignored by marketeers, it does demonstrate the next tier isn’t as obvious and clear cut as many think. All Marketeers should look at their target segments and choose which channel best suits their needs. They should also consider what they have to offer each network and create firm reasons for being involved. Despite Bebo‘s claims within their advertising sales packages, I doubt they are as big in the 25+ market as they would lead you to believe. You must therefore determine if you have anything to offer a younger audience and if you brand belongs.
Top UK Online Retailers
Once again on NetImperative they list the Top 50 Online Retailers within the UK (listed at the foot of this post). The list published in conjunction with IMRG and using Hitwise data is based purely on visits. The list is fine as a benchmark but to label its output Top 50 Online retailers is somewhat over the top. The numbers fail to recognise usability, conversion, online SoV or the obvious benchmark of turnover and profit. If all these factors were incorporated, I am sure there would be some differing positions and maybe even some change of faces in the Top 50.
Withstanding the rationale of creating the list, the top 10 is made up predominantly of names you would consider when talking about Top 10. Amazon (1st and 5th), Argos, Play.com, Next, Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Thomson, Expedia and EasyJet. OK so the final few wouldn’t be in my list of Top 10 online retailers. Despite this list IMRG claim a massive rise in spend online, largely driven by the fashion sector (none of whom really appear at the top of the list, with the exception of Next and M&S)
The most interesting element of the top 10 is that all are recognised brands. This shows that Internet Marketeers also need to recognise the importance of brand and cannot base every business decision purely on immediate ROI or DM metrics.
Top 50 Online Retailers List – August 2009