updated 03:00 am EST, Wed January 11, 2012
Amazon the leading mass merchandiser site
Consumer electronics and technology companies are still among the most-visited retail websites, a new Nielsen survey covering September 2011 has revealed. The report, which also covers consumer usage of media generally, including TV, social websites, cell phones and other mobile devices, focuses on US consumers but includes some global statistics, showing strong growth particularly in data usage among smartphone and tablet users.
Microsoft.com was the most-visited computer or consumer electronics website with 94 million unique visitors over the month. Amazon came in second with 72 million unique visitors, with Apple at 68.7 million visitors. However, of the three, visitors stayed far longer at Apple -- an average an hour and two minutes -- than anywhere else. Microsoft visitors remained for 42 minutes, while a typical Amazon visit lasted only 29 minutes.
Among computer/tech websites, the top five were Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, Mozilla and CNet. For mass-merchandise retail sites, the top five was Amazon by a clear lead (more than double second-place Wal-Mart), followed by Target, ShopAtHome.com and Overstock.com. Women make up the majority of visitors to both tech and retail websites (75 percent of women compared to 70 percent of men). Younger people (18-34) were seen to be only slightly more likely (four percent) to visit consumer electronics sites than the general population.
Among other findings in the report was the astonishing growth of data usage among smartphone and tablet users, more than doubling from the same time period a year ago among most age groups, and more than tripling among the very young (13-17 years). Android users ranked the primary non-app use of their devices as being for texting (14 percent of time spent on the device), followed by browsing (10 percent), dialling (six percent), and maps/navigation (five percent). App use consumed 53 percent of the time on the device, with games leading the way, and social networking or music in second.
The survey also showed the contrast between two types of online video sites: YouTube was by far the leading video destination in terms of visitors, with 126.5 million unique visitors per month. But the site couldn't hold a candle to Netflix in terms of time spent watching, with YouTube averaging two hours and 52 minutes compared to Netflix's 10 hours per month. Interestingly, Hulu.com and YouTube (along with competitors Tudou.com -- a Chinese video site -- and Megavideo.com) all averaged nearly the same amount of average monthly viewing, between two and three hours.
The illustrated summary of the survey is available online.