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Britain Goes Net Crazy With Significant Retail Potential

24 May 2010 - 09:28 by Graham Miller

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Britain is apparently turning into a nation of technophiles who love nothing more than surfing the net all day, according to statistics from a new study by the UK Online Measurement Company (UKOM).

The UKOM research analysed the time we spend online and what we do whilst we are online. One statistic that should bring a smile to the face of any online retailer looking to become a part of our safe shopping online activities is that the typical Briton is online for 65 per cent more time than they were just three years ago. This equates to virtually an entire day every month. Specifically, each of us spends an average of 22 hours and 15 minutes per month online.

In understanding the sites visited, there is some good news for online marketers and retailers. Researchers discovered that social media takes up a significant percentage of online time. British users are spending some 23 per cent of their time on sites such as Facebook or MySpace. This is interesting—if not entirely surprising—for those online retailers with an interest in the potential for selling via Flash eCommerce programs and in building brand loyalty using social media channels.

Although many retailers have, to date, been sceptical as to the return on investment associated with social media optimisation (SMO), there are clear indications that this channel is now maturing and that carefully designed SMO strategies can drive significant revenue.

Shopping online using voucher and reward sites is also proving to be popular; the study found that use of this class of site has grown by a staggering 516 per cent in the last three years. As vouchers become an integral part of safe online shopping, this channel seems set to continue to grow in stature.