RealTime IT News

UK Surfers Are Not Limited to Big Earners

According to NetValue, the addition of 800,000 new Internet users in the U.K. last month means that 2.3 million home Net users have got themselves connected since the beginning of the year, taking the total U.K. home online population to 13.6 million.

Interestingly, there is little evidence of a true digital divide, with 26.9 percent of U.K. surfers earning less than #600 per month compared to 8.3% earning more than #4,000 per month.

"The Internet is not reserved for a rich elite," NetValue's Alki Manias said. "These figures show that the Web is being welcomed by low income earners. Online businesses have to recognise that the Internet market is every bit as diverse as the high street market, and not limited to big earners."

The total Internet population in the U.K. in April was just under 18 million people, with almost 46 percent connected only from home, over 18 percent connected from both home and work, and 13 percent of users restricted to access from work.

Three quarters of home surfers visited an e-commerce site last month, according to the monitoring company, with 46 percent of this total moving on to secure sections, where customers can hand over their payment details. The top retail site was Amazon.co.uk, which attracted 1.6 million visitors, with nearly 30 percent of these visitors entering the secure section of the site.

Interestingly, over five million home users -- nearing 40 percent of the home online population -- clicked on a banner ad during the month, the average user viewing 97.3 ads, seeing each individual advert on average 2.5 times.

The figures do tend to suggest that there are a few old chestnuts doing the rounds that may not have that much basis in fact. The suggestion that Net-based advertising may not be effective seems harsh in the light of these figures, particularly when it is remebered that TV and print ads don't even have click-through rates. Likewise, worries that the Internet revolution would disenfranchise wide sectors of the community also appear somewhat over-played given the rapidly falling prices for new and second-hand PCs.