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Opinion and Insight

Do People Still Surf the Net for Content?, 2 years, 6 months ago

Carat research shows more than half the UK population no longer surf the net for content or products

Do People Still Surf the Net for Content?

More than half of people have stopped surfing the internet for content and products because there is now too much choice and information on there. And a third of people prefer friend recommendations than ads on social networks, according to latest research from global media agency, Carat.

The data from the Consumer Connection System (CCS) – Carat’s proprietary research and insight tool surveying 11,000 British consumers and their media habits – shows that 55% of internet users only use two or three trusted sites for their content discovery and purchasing, instead of surfing hundreds of sites.

The top 5 trusted sites for content in the UK according to CCS are:

1. BBC

2. Amazon

3. BBC Online

4. Google

5. ITV

The study also reveals that 41% of people feel overwhelmed by the wealth of choice on the web, which makes it hard for them to make purchase decisions. Meanwhile 26% of people feel there is so much information on the net that it is hard for them to find what they are looking for when shopping online. 

33% of respondents also said that they prefer to trust friends’ recommendations on social media than ads. 44% of users state that they look at content uploaded by friends at least once a week and 29% of people check posts shared by friends at least once a day.

Millennials (15-34) in particular rely on friends’ recommendations on social media with 49% of them trusting personal recommendations from friends more than ads and 33% saying that they would visit a site if it is recommended via a social network.

Dan Hagen, Chief Strategy Officer at Carat, said: “Whilst there will always be a small population of people who will make the effort to explore the landscape for new and interesting content, services and diversions, the vast majority need the advice of trusted friends and brands to help them navigate an increasingly saturated content ecosystem.

“This opens several interesting opportunities and challenges for brands. Smart content, and crucially, distribution strategies combined with innovative approaches to partnership can help advertisers redefine their content strategies, cutting through this noise to deliver the right content to the right person at the right time, driving real business value.”

Lucy Moore, Associate Director at Carat, said: “This study proves that overwhelmed consumers are waiting for someone to deliver them the right content that is relevant to them. CCS allows us to create extremely specific consumer profiles and build content strategies that allow us to target them directly.”

CCS is a Dentsu Aegis Network tool that samples over 11,000 consumers in the UK annually and is available in over 50 countries worldwide, speaking to 300,000 people across the globe. The tool not only seeks to understand what media individuals are consuming, but also gains insight into their underlying motivations, attitudes and opinions that drive those behavioural choices.