This morning I came across an interesting article on how consumers’ perception of brand websites has changed. According to new international research, consumers these days tend to visit brand websites less often than they used to, because such sites are often seen as “one dimensional”, while many consider social media sites more multi-layered and objective.
The study by media agency Universal McCann has been conducted on an annual basis in 62 countries since 2008 and results show that, since the beginning, there has been a noticeable downward trend in brand website visits. This year’s research reveals that just under 30% of the 40,000 adults polled do not visit brand websites, while four years ago the percentage was around 15%.
The report notes that this tendency holds true for all nationalities, age groups and genders, which signals a fundamental shift in consumers’ attitude, researchers say. They are much more attracted by the flexibility and opportunities offered by social media. For instance, 36% of the respondents say that social platforms are a good source of new information, while 27% think that they can keep users up to date. In comparison, these metrics score 25% and 23% respectively for brand pages. Quite predictably, social media score better in other areas, such as a feeling of belonging, opinion shaping and expressing oneself.
Meanwhile, the study also reveals that on average consumers spend seven hours weekly on social platforms and six more hours on microblogging. For the youngest users, aged 16 to 24, these reached nine and seven hours, respectively.