With lockdown creating a rise in the number of people working from home, and families keeping themselves entertained indoors by going online, it’s no surprise that internet providers have seen surges in usage, but by how much has our online dependency risen?
According to an Opinium survey commissioned by uSwitch.com, there has been a 29% rise in how much time UK households have been spending on the web since the lockdown took effect. Hours per week spent online have shot up from 32 to 41.3. To put that into perspective, if you worked an extra day from home every week from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and spent your lunch break online as well, it still wouldn’t make up the difference.
Indeed, work is what has had the biggest influence in this online surge. The 2,002 adults polled in the survey said they are spending an average of 8 hours and 30 minutes working online, up by 67% from the pre-lockdown figure of 5 hours and 6 minutes. Video calling via platforms like Zoom, Skype and WhatsApp have also rocketed, up 50% since stay-at-home measures were put in place.
Can businesses take advantage of this?
Businesses try to make the most of brand exposure by marketing in areas of high footfall, such as city centres, train stations and popular events. Since these are now no-go areas for many, it makes sense to direct marketing efforts towards where the traffic is going instead – online.
Studies like this give insight into how behaviour is changing as this unprecedented situation develops, and what might surprise many is that it varies from city to city. For example, local businesses might be interested to know that Liverpool is spending 7 hours and 30 minutes a week on online gaming – more time than any other UK city and 50% more than before the lockdown. This might prick the ears of local companies involved in app creation or gambling, or give ideas to those considering paying for pop-up ads on gaming websites.
Lockdown has created opportunities as well as restrictions, and at Engage Web, we believe online is the place to be. Speak to us if you’re looking to build your online presence at this opportune time.