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Sarah UKFast | Account Manager

Mobile Shopping and Social Silver Surfers

19 September 2011 by Alice Cullen

Mobile internet is massively on the up. Pensioners are tweeting and Facebook-ing, but hardly any of us purchase e-learning material on the net.

This is according to the latest Office of National Statistics internet usage statistics report for the twelve months leading to 31 August 2011. We all know how the internet is fast becoming such a huge part of everyone’s everyday life but it is amazing to see the figures in black and white and to watch the narrative of the web’s world domination.

We have repeatedly seen m-commerce cropping up in the UKFast round table debates and few days go by without another internet retailer releasing an app or announcing an M-commerce site. Looking at this latest report it is easy to see why so many businesses are quickly jumping onto the m-band-wagon. More than 17.6m of us accessed the internet through a mobile connection, that equates to 45% of internet users, over the past 12 months.

Breaking this information down into age groups, 71% of 16-24 year olds are accessing mobile internet connections. It is astonishing that this figure is not higher when you try to remember the last time you saw a 16-24 year old without an iPhone or Blackberry or Android in their hand, tweeting, googling or instant messaging.

It isn’t only those whizz-kid youngsters making up the mobile internet numbers though, in the next age group along (25-34 years) 65% have used a mobile connection in the past 12 months, along with 49% of 45-54 years with a gradual decline in users until we get to the 8% of connected over 65s.

The rate of growth is fascinating; six million of these mobile internet users accessed the world-wide-web using their smartphone or mobile device for the very first time over this twelve month period. In 2009 only 23% of internet users had access through a mobile connection, almost half of this year’s user stats.

These are pretty significant figures when you place it alongside the others in the report: the three lower age ranges are the three groups who have made the most purchases online. So add to your standard website a simple app for a smart phone and m-commerce could really take off.

There are the obvious security concerns with internet shopping, especially over mobile connections, but the report shows that the vast majority of internet users feel that they have the sufficient skills and tools to protect personal data and computers from viruses; 77% of users in fact feel that they have the skills to protect their personal data.

The future is bright; the future is m-commerce.

On the social media front only 57% of users on average have used the internet for social media/networking overall over the past twelve months.

When broken down into age group, unsurprisingly 91% of users aged 16-24 year used the internet for socialising. Again those ‘silver surfers’ are getting more involved with the web and are riding the social media wave, with 18% of over 65 year olds using the internet to access sites like Twitter and Facebook.

Are we ready for the take-off of M-commerce? Will social media sites ever slow down?