According to a recent study by Forrester Research, Inc., 79 percent of us went online at least once a month during 2012—and that’s the exact same percentage that did so in 2011.
Could this leveling off of online market penetration be bad news for digital marketers?
Not at all, as it turns out.
While the percentage of users did not grow from one year to the next, both the frequency with which consumers log onto the web and the means they use to do so continue to rise.
Let’s take a look at some of the study’s findings, based on a survey of nearly 60,000 people:
- The percentage US adults who said they go online daily took a significant jump –from 78 percent in 2011 to 84 percent last year.
- More than half of those surveyed own smartphones, and two out of three respondents possess multiple devices affording online access.
- Between 2011 and 2012, tablet ownership nearly doubled.
- Forty percent of adults also connect to the internet via their TVs.
As Forrester analyst and report author Gina Sverdlov points out, now that people can use mobile devices to go online from practically anywhere it’s no surprise access to online platforms is on the upswing.
“US smartphone owners use their device almost everywhere,” Sverdlov writes in a recent blog post. “They aren’t just connecting at home but wherever they go; in fact, they’re more likely to access the Internet on their phone in a store than in their own kitchen.”
In fact, while 67 percent of survey respondents said they log on from their living rooms, even greater numbers said they do so while shopping (75 percent), when outdoors (74 percent) and while traveling (68 percent). Cars and restaurants were also popular locations for hopping onto the web.
Last but not least, this study looked at generational differences in online activity, with few surprises.
Younger generations demonstrated greater levels of online and tech savvy than their elders. However, marketers should note the apparent increase in Baby Boomer connectivity. Baby Boomers now comprise more than one-third of the adult online population, and tablet ownership by this age group more than doubled between 2011 and 2012.