The UK is showing "minimal to flat growth" in web surfing time spent at home, forcing e-commerce firms to evolve their business to stimulate additional online activity.
According to Nielsen//NetRatings research released today, the problem is not confined to the UK, but affects other mature internet markets including Brazil, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden and the US.
The web analytics firm found that easier growth opportunities exist in some emerging internet markets, including Australia, France, Hong Kong, Italy and Japan, which experienced double-digit increases in time spent online at home.
Kaizad Gotla, senior internet analyst at Nielsen//NetRatings, explained that mature internet markets are hanging on for the "next big thing" to reinvigorate internet usage.
"There are many opportunities ahead for companies online, but if they just continue to do what they're doing today, they're only going to move sideways," he said.
"The easiest opportunities are in countries where internet usage patterns and user/site relationships are less established.
"Acquiring users in markets that are currently in their growth stages will lead to a loyal user base that will pay dividends for internet companies in the future."
The latest Nielsen//NetRatings global research shows that the majority of usage growth has come from increased frequency of access or user session growth. Australia, France, Hong Kong and Italy saw double-digit growth in the number of monthly user sessions.
In comparison, the UK experienced more modest growth, coming sixth in the rankings of nations that spend most time online.
"Shifts in media consumption, steadily improving online offerings, and growing broadband penetration are likely factors in growing the number of online user sessions on a global basis," said Gotla.
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