by Mark Appleton
Recently the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released their figures on how Great Britain (GB) is using the internet in 2016. It revealed some startling statistics that, once again, highlight how important it is for organisations to not only be online, but to do it well, and how, for digital agencies, the opportunities are vast.
Some 82% of adults (41.8 million) used the internet daily in GB, compared with 78% in 2015 and 35% in 2006. Now 4% might not seem like a large increase but across GB that's 2.5 million more people online, and think how that is multiplied across the world, with larger increases in developing countries. 89% of homes (23.7 million) have internet access, a three percent increase from 2015 but a 32% increase from 2006.
The fingers are still pointing at mobile as 70% of adults accessed the internet on a mobile or smartphone, up from 66% in 2015 but this has nearly doubled from the 2011 estimate of 36%. It seems we Brits want information, literally, at our fingertips.
For those of you that sell online or create the ability for organisations to sell online, 2016 saw 77% of adults buying goods or services online. This is up from 53% in 2008, however it is only a one percent increase from 2015. Could we have reached saturation point already? Unlikely, what's more likely is that as mobile usage has increased, it has also increased the barriers to purchase. Some people are still wary of buying on their mobile or tablet, this is changing rapidly though.
People aged 55 to 64 had seen the largest increase of 33% since 2008 to 77% in 2016. Nearly 9 in 10 adults aged under 55 have shopped online within the last 12 months. Nearly half (45%) of adults aged 65 and over have also done so, an increase of 29% from 2008.
Continuing with ecommerce and we see that clothes or sports goods hit the dizzy heights of number one as the most popular online purchase in 2016. 54% of adults are wearing clothes or playing sports with goods purchased online...everyone else must be keeping the high street alive.
Adults were also asked if they used information from retailers' websites, price comparison websites or reviews from others as considerations before they purchased online within the last 12 months. Adults in all age groups from 25 to 64 reported similar rates of use of information from retailers', producers' or service providers' websites, in the range of 55% to 59%. Those aged 16 to 24 and 65 and over reported lowest use of this information, at 49%. The most popular use of reviews by others was by the 25 to 34 age group, at 53%. Price comparison sites were not a popular choice for the 16 to 24 age group with 48% reporting that they rarely or never used these before purchasing, compared with 23% of those aged 45 to 55.
The teenagers and early twenty-somethings are seeing delivery as a problem when it comes to purchases online. 42% said speed of delivery was a problem, whilst only 15% of those aged 65 and over thought it was an issue. This could be because the pension generation is still slow on the internet uptake.
"Regular internet use continues to rise, with more than 8 in 10 people going online almost every day in 2016. However, many older people are still to catch up with the digital revolution, with nearly half of single pensioners still having no internet access at all."
It seems however, that no matter how good we make those websites, the most popular thing to do online by adults was...sending emails. 79% of adults said it was the main task they did online, a rise of three percent from 2015 and 22% since 2007.
Coming in at number two on the list of 'things adults do online' was finding information about goods and services, 76% of adults - the largest increase from 2015 of seven percent. All activities showed an increase from the initial survey in 2007: reading online news, newspapers or magazines - 60% of adults, a tripling from the 2007 20% survey results. Internet banking and searching for health-related information (51%) have risen by 30 and 33% respectively.
For the majority of the internet activities surveyed, there was little difference in the proportion of men and women carrying out the activities. Exceptions to this were watching video content from sharing services, which was carried out by 54% of men, compared with 40% of women.
Whether you're a digital agency or a business large or small, the importance of being connected to your customers online more important now than it has ever been. Ensure you are getting the best from your digital solutions, partners and agency with Resolving Digital.
Statistics courtesy of the Office for National Statistics