Digital appetites: what are consumers doing online?

This week I’m pleased to include a guest post from Kat Prescott…

Making a Living Online

Plenty of news circulates over the amount of internet services available in Ireland and around the world, with 65% of the country already benefiting from broadband services. What you don’t often hear about is how our appetites are changing when it comes to what we’re doing online – until now that is.

According to research by Sky Ireland, consumer trends are showing distinct shifts as the ability to go online covers more of the country and becomes more autonomous. For those interested in targeting these markets more effectively using the latest information, here are some of the trends which Sky Broadband Ireland identified:

1. Email access

It may be a surprising first entry but the number of internet users accessing their emails is a market which is often foolishly overlooked. According to Sky Ireland, more than two fifths of those surveyed (44.2%) even log on to email accounts using portable devices so that they can check new messages whilst commuting to and from work.

Commuters have also swapped the traditional newspaper for online copies. According to the survey 51% of Irish commuters read the news online using their smartphone or tablet – changing the environment of local buses, trains and public transport permanently.

2. Social networking

An inclusion which was no doubt expected, social networking also featured highly on the to-do list of individuals using the internet whilst commuting. Just under half (49.4%) admit that they log on to social networks whilst travelling, emphasising just how important it has become to stay online throughout our day.

Social media networks have achieved increasing levels of popularity since their inception with even recruitment processes now taking social networking activities into account when hiring new employees.

Elsewhere in the business world, social seeding which publishes links to stories and online content via social platforms has also taken off, becoming a vital part of most modern business strategies which aim to make the most of current technologies and services. Digital brand awareness has also been pushed by social networks which now include almost as many individual users as they do companies, firms of organisations. The purpose of this is to extend influence and with so many people logging on whilst on the move, the benefits of getting online are more than evident.

3. Digital content

Not everything we do online occurs immediately though and the consumption of digital content in Ireland is claimed to make the most of the services at our disposal. Speaking on behalf of Sky Ireland and their research, Mark Anderson, their Director of Sales and Marketing, explained that many customers download content using their home broadband services and then watch it later, using their internet-enabled mobile devices to do so.

Commenting on the situation, Anderson explained that the brand expects “our digital diet [to] feature more media meshing as time goes on” and this means that live streaming and this ‘save it for later’ approach will be combined together to ensure customers have the best access to internet services.