The UK is the ‘most connected’ country

According to Google’s Consumer Barometer, the UK is one of the most connected countries in the world.

The Barometer is a free planning tool that uses extensive data collected from over 400,000 respondents across 56 countries to provide insights into online activities. The research highlights changing patterns in how people around the world use the internet, their smartphones and how they search and shop online, and reveals some interesting trends about how UK consumers differ in how they research and buy offline and online, compared to other countries and age groups.

In the UK consumers now have more connected devices than ever before, with smartphones now integral to people’s lives. In fact  71 per cent of Brits own a smartphone compared to the European average of 61 per cent, and 60 per cent of these use a search engine on a weekly basis via their smartphone.

This connectedness makes them more reliant on the internet to shop, which also helps to inform their decisions when they shop locally and internationally. They also exhibit strong  multiscreen behaviour, with 64 per cent of UK consumers who use devices going online while watching TV.

The findings suggest that the average UK consumer owns 3.3 devices in 2015, up 10 per cent from 2014, with 28 per cent using five or more devices. Naturally, given the number of devices owned, Brits are frequent internet users, with 85 per cent going online at least once a day. That figure rises to 92 per cent amongst those under 44 years old.

Fast Facts

  • Online video is big – 64 per cent of people watch online video every week, up from 53 per cent last year
  • Always online – 85 per cent of consumers are online at least once a day
  • Multi-screening multiplies – British people have an average of 3.3 internet-connected devices per person, 10 per cent higher than in 2014, and 64 per cent of people multiscreen while watching TV – 63 per cent use their smartphones to do so while 36 per cent use a tablet or computer
  • It’s not just the young using smartphones and living their lives online:
  • 92 per cent of British consumers under 44 years old go online everyday
  • In Israel 61per cent of people aged 55 and over use a smartphone (compared to 77 per cent of 25-34 year olds), and in Sweden that number is a staggering 64 per cent
  • Global vs local: globally, 57 per cent of the UK market have bought something online from a foreign country
  • In the UK, 4 out of 10 people using smartphones when looking for local information and 61 per cent researching locally a day or less before purchase
  • 40 per cent of Brits shop in foreign countries to get better availability

Peter Cory, Agency Sales Director at Google, said, “Consumer habits are changing fast, making it challenging for brands to understand and predict how and when it’s best to reach them. In the UK alone, we’ve seen significant increases in the number of devices owned and that’s having a direct effect on the way consumers conduct their day-to-day lives – how they consume media, how they research products and how, when and where they buy. The updated Consumer Barometer will help marketers understand and compare changing consumer behaviours and better plan their local and international media strategies.”