Research: Social media top online activity

Consumers worldwide are spending more time online and are quick to avoid websites that provide poor user experiences or have had security breaches, according to the latest State of the User Experience research report from digital content delivery specialist Limelight Networks. The annual global report, which highlights consumer online behaviours and expectations, found major increases in time spent online and the impact of online experiences on customer loyalty.

The report reveals that UK consumers spend the greatest time online, with more than 56 per cent of people spending at least 15 hours a week online outside of work. Globally, the number of consumers who spend at least 15 hours a week online outside of work has increased by 64 per cent compared to last year. In the UK, laptops are the primary device used to access online content followed by smartphones, with 45 per cent of consumers expecting fast web performance regardless of what device they are using.

Poor experiences frequently lead to lost sales. 42 per cent of UK consumers surveyed said they will not wait more than 5 seconds for a web page to load, and nearly a third would move to a different site to make a purchase if a website was too slow. Globally, more than 12 per cent of consumers surveyed will not re-visit a website after previously experiencing slow performance – double the number from last year’s survey.

UK consumers also want to know their information is being safeguarded online. More than 75 per cent have a more negative opinion of a brand after it has experienced a security breach, with 30 per cent saying they will not shop at a website that has been the victim of a cyber-attack.

“In today’s crowded market, brands can’t risk delivering a poor online experience to their customers,” said Michael Milligan, Senior Director at Limelight Networks. “Security breaches, slow performance and other elements of an inefficient online experience impact a shopper’s actions and have long-lasting effects on brand reputation and customer retention.”

Additional insights from the report show:

  • Good experiences go a long way. The top factors in deciding to purchase a product from a website are the “ability to easily search and find items” and “fast online performance.” After a positive experience on a website, 66 per cent of UK consumers surveyed will recommend that brand to a friend.
  • Social media wins the popularity contest. Social media is the top choice for time spent online, with UK consumers spending three hours 52 minutes per week, slightly less than the global average of four hours 14 minutes per week. In fact, more than 1 in 5 18-25 year olds in the UK confess to spending more than ten hours every week on social media, more than any other age group.
  • Smartphones are preferred by younger consumers. Globally, smartphones are the primary device used for online activities, however in the UK they come a close second after laptops. Younger consumers use smartphones more than their older counterparts, with over a quarter of under 45s saying most of the time they use smartphones to access online content compared to just 3 per cent of over 45s. Women show a preference for using smartphones, while men tend to prefer laptop computers.
  • Consumers are spending more time online. People in the UK spend more time online than consumers in other countries in the survey, with more than half of consumers spending more than 15 hours a week online. Reflecting a global trend, people in the UK aged 46-60 spend the most time online, with 66 per cent online for more than 15 hours a week. For comparison, 55 per cent of young UK millennials (ages 18-25) spend more than 15 hours online each week.

 

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