Generation Y might be nicknamed ‘digital natives’ but according to the annual Sensis ‘e-Business Report’, it is members of Gen X who are embracing the convenience and ease of going online at the most rapid pace.
The 2011 report results, based on interviews with 1000 consumers across Australia, showed that people in their 30s, 40s and 50s are showing strong usage of social media, mobile webs, tablets and online purchasing.
In fact, Australians in their 30s are most likely to purchase online, with 87% either having bought something online before or have intentions to, followed by consumers in their 20s (80%) and 40s (79%).
Interestingly, online shoppers in their 40s are the most unlikely to purchase from overseas sites.
In fact, according to Christena Singh, author of the report, only 29% of online purchases are made with overseas businesses. “[The] majority of expenditure is still being spent locally.”
While Gen Y have grown up interacting with friends online via social networks (97% of 18 to 19 year-olds and 90% of 20-somethings using social networking) older online users are becoming well-versed with the likes of Facebook and Twitter as well.
According to the report, 82% of people in the 30s, 47% of people in their 40s, and 45% of people in their 50s-to-60s are connected on social media sites.
“The frequency with which social networking sites were used increased sharply during the year,” notes Singh. “Four in 10 Australians log on to social networking sites several times per day, up from less than three in 10 last year. Almost one in four Australians access them from their workplace as well.”
The use of mobile web usage is also on the rise with members of Gen X.
“We can see that mobile web use has grown in the older age groups, with almost half of Australians in their 40s connecting via mobile and a third of those in their 50s,” says Singh.
The number of mobile web users in their 40s jumped from 40% to 45%, while users in their 50s increased from 24% to 32%.
With the evolution of mobile internet, Australians are also using more applications when they logon. A range of activities, including downloading video and mobile apps, have become commonplace.
The most popular activities Australians are undertaking using mobile internet include:
- looking for maps and directions (74% up from 67%)
- looking for weather information (69% up from 64%)
- browsing news sites (68% up from 59%)
- looking for products and services (67% up from 56%)
- looking for suppliers (57% up from 45%)
- downloading a mobile application (57% up from 42%)
- using a satellite navigation application (47% up from 40%), and
- downloading video content (39% up from 35%).