UK digital market insights 2018

UK Digital insights

Do you want to know how to reach the UK digital audience online?

Comscore recently published their UK Digital Market Overview for June 2018, which provides business with some great digital market insights. This information helps marketers understand UK consumer digital behaviour so that we can select the best platforms and properties to reach our target markets.

Comscore’s UK Digital Market Overview provides the most comprehensive data for UK digital behaviour, unlike most data which is dominated by American consumer behaviour.

UK digital platform usage

Of all platforms we see tablets suffering the lowest overall unique visitors of UK websites, beaten by smartphones then desktop. The combined strength of tablets and smartphones outweighs desktop by just under 10%.

Smartphones also account for over 62% of all adult online minutes in the UK, 74.5% when combined with tablets. Indeed over a quarter of online adults are now mobile only.

Device preference does vary by age profile, with the 55+ demographic standing out by way of their preference for desktop and tablet over mobile.

The importance of mobile devices (smartphones plus tablets) should not be ignored in website design, advertising channels and customer experience.

For education marketing we see Smartphone as the dominant device for all relevant ages.

UK Mobile reach

91% of the UK population used mobile devices in June 2018. This breaks down into 78% for smartphone and 51% for tablet.

Overall 84% of the UK population used mobile apps, with smartphone dominating this space over tablets. Mobile apps account for 63% of all online minutes during 2018.

UK Digital behaviour by social grade

Tablet usage remains the only digital platform to have consistent usage across socio-economic grouping. Most noticeable is the increased usage of mobile by those of lower social grade. The trend is fairly consistent across the categories, with desktop usage much more popular for ABC1 groups than C2DE classifications. Those in the lowest socioeconomic grades have a much higher propensity to be mobile-only than those in other groups.

This may be due in part due to desktop usage in the workplace for white-collar occupations as opposed to blue-collar or manual trades. It is also likely that fixed broadband is less essential for those on lower incomes.

For education and skills marketing we must therefore reach our target audiences via smartphone as their desktop usage is much lower than their wealthier counterparts.

Top UK websites 2018

It will be no surprise to learn that Google reaches 98% of the UK population by way of being the most popular search engine. YouTube is hot on it’s heels as the world’s leading video search engine.

For social media, Facebook steals the show including strong visitor numbers for Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp.

BBC websites, Microsoft (MSN, Bing, Outlook etc) and Amazon sites all feature strongly in the UK’s top websites visited during 2018.

We get a slightly different perspective when considering data for ‘time spent’ as opposed to total unique visits. Spotify and Netflix (and several others) feature in the top 20 digital properties by time spent during 2018. Nevertheless time spent on these sites is significantly less than Google and Facebook properties.

Mobile features strongly again, particularly for Snapchat, Spotify and Facebook, whereas tablets stand out as popular for BBC sites and Netflix.

For the mobile (smartphone and tablet) user Youtube and Facebook dominate both in terms of unique visitors as well as time spent. There are some interesting variances between those two measures which indicate where UK digital device users are spending their time.

July’s data was influenced heavily by the world cup and Love Island which drove visits to the Love Island app, ITV Hub and online gambling websites and apps.

Education digital engagement

For total unique visitors and total minutes spent Education sector sites are far down the rankings, just making the top 30.

Time spent within the education category is fairly evenly split between web and app, however this does not take into account educational content on Facebook or YouTube, for instance.

What this means for those in the sector trying to engage the UK population is that we need to reach out beyond owned websites to reach people at the properties where they are spending their time. It is not enough to build a site and expect visitors to engage. We need to be active on social media, in Search and email amongst others in order to raise awareness and pique their interest.

Whilst July is a typically quiet period for education marketing, we await the August and September data with interest.

If you’d like to find out how to reach your audience online, get in touch.



Also published on Medium.

The following two tabs change content below.
Roisin Kirby is an experienced Marketing Consultant based in Nottingham (UK), specialising in education and services marketing. A Chartered Marketer and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

Latest posts by Roisin Kirby (see all)