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UK leads European online figures

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UK online activity ahead of Europe

UK internet users are significantly more active online than the average European, according to a Mediascope Europe report commissioned by Internet Advertising Bureau Europe.

Key figures from the flagship study are listed below, with data taken from 50,000 consumers across 28 countries showing how people use the internet in 2012.

Findings reveal UK and Europe internet use

Not only is there a significantly higher percentage of adults online than across Europe, Brits also spend an average of two hours more browsing the web per week.

Moreover, smartphones and tablets have also been embraced by a much greater percentage of the UK population than the continent as a whole, with less than half of Europeans keen to take the internet with them when they leave their home or office.

UK Europe
Adults online 81% 65%
Smartphone owners 59% 44%
Tablet owners 21% 8%

Mobile browsing preferences are also revealed, showing that 19 per cent in the UK had shopped online with their phone compared with 11 per cent throughout Europe, with the UK (21 per cent) also more trusting of shopping via an app than Europe (9 per cent).

Media consumption has now shifted in the UK to the extent that tablet owners spend more time checking news on their device than they do reading newspapers or magazines. The ‘dual screening’ trend, which sees users watch television and surf the net simultaneously, has become a part of everyday UK life, with 35 per cent more people indulging in the pastime than in 2010. This rise means that nearly two thirds of UK adults now dual screen, while for Europe the figure is less than half.

Social media and advertising in the UK

Such a large online presence obviously creates a target for advertisers, but Mediascope Europe has revealed that UK users are not always receptive to their advances.

Curiously, while only 38 per cent stated that brand communication online was important, 59 per cent admitted that they find online advertising helpful when making purchase decisions. Brands using social media also have to work hard to turn a simple follow or like into a purchase, as while a third of users say they keep an eye on the social media accounts of their favourite brands, only a quarter said that this made them more likely to buy their products.

Indeed, followers are shown to be quick to turn against any brand with a poor marketing strategy, with 59 per cent complaining about a company directly through its social media account, 40 per cent removing their follow or like and 26 per cent going as far as setting up a rival group asking others to boycott the brand.

Daniel Nolan, managing director at theEword, said: “While it’s no real surprise that the UK is embracing new technologies, it is interesting to see how we compare with the rest of Europe. What this report doesn’t do is give reasons, so we can only speculate as to why the UK is so far ahead.”

Written by James Riches

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