Most avid internet users are found in the BRICs
Updated: 2011-12-16 13:28
By Zhang Haizhou (chinadaily.com.cn)
London - Consumers in fast-growth markets are hungry for greater access to the Internet and once they have it, find it quickly begins to change their lives, according to the latest findings released from Digital Life, a global study by TNS, the world’s leading research consultancy.
The findings, published on Thursday, show that as advances in infrastructure open up these markets to the wonders of the web, newcomers to the Internet embrace its potential to expand their world and the opportunities available to them.
When asked if the Internet helped to improve their self-confidence, just 12 percent of those online in France and Germany agreed, compared to 42 percent of Internet users in China, 52 percent in India and 55 percent in Vietnam.
This peaks in Saudi Arabia where almost four out of five Internet users (79 percent) feel more confident online.
With this new-found confidence, people in fast-growth markets are finding their voice online – 44 percent of the Internet population in Turkey are writing their own blog every week, as are 43 percent in China and Mexico and 39 percent in India.
The only developed market to come close in terms of sharing their views is Italy, where 40 percent of online Italians update their blog each week, compared to 14 percent in the US and UK.
"We have seen that the Internet can become addictive; some of the most engaged are those people in markets where Internet access has been limited - as soon as the infrastructure becomes available people make the most of it," said Matthew Froggatt, chief development officer, TNS.
"Really understanding this emotional connection to the Internet presents significant opportunity for companies who need to reach consumers in new markets to build their business," he added.
The findings were revealed by TNS’s Digital Life study, the most comprehensive view of how more than 72,000 consumers in 60 countries behave online and why they do what they do, which was conducted during 2011.
Spending time online has a big impact for consumption of other media. As Internet access has opened up, so TV viewing is starting to drop off. In China and Brazil, approximately 20 percent more Internet users will go online each day than will watch TV.
Conversely, where online infrastructure is still in development, TV maintains a hold and in Egypt, Thailand and the Philippines people are much more likely to watch TV every day than go online.
Mobile broadband has been a significant catalyst in accelerating Internet access in many fast growth markets.
Whilst 36 percent of people surveyed by TNS globally said they had accessed the Internet via mobile in the past week, the figure was 49 percent in China, 53 percent in Singapore and 68 percent in South Africa.
This is particularly true in Africa, where people going online in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya are more likely to use a mobile phone than a PC.
Internet users in fast-growth markets are also amongst the most enthusiastic adopters of new products and services.
While only nine percent of the global Internet population are not currently banking online and are keen to try it, the figure is 20 percent in Chile, 24 percent in Vietnam and a striking 62 percent in Nigeria.
Other services with the potential to do well in fast-growth markets include timeshifted TV – 27 percent of those online in India, 29 percent in Vietnam and 30 percent in Brazil and Indonesia want to try selecting programmes already broadcast to watch over the internet, compared to the global average of 22 percent.
"This new enthusiasm for the Internet among later adopters is opening up a huge potential market to brands and businesses who can understand their needs. However, while our research unearths opportunities it also comes with a warning; consumers in more developed markets are already feeling jaded by volumes of 'digital waste' thrown at them by brands in social networks," Froggatt said.
Interactive data visualisations of the key findings can be found at www.tnsdigitallife.com.