The number of people using the web worldwide has surpassed 4 billion for the first time, and collectively they are spending more online than ever before.
Social media management platform Hootsuite joined forces with creative agency We Are Social to compile the Digital in 2018 report, which found that 53 per cent of the world’s population are now connected to the internet, accounting for 4.021 billion people.
That represents a 7 per cent increase over the last 12 months.
And if you think social media accounts for only a small amount of that traffic, think again. The report suggests that just under 80 per cent of web users – or 3.196 billion people – use some form of social media. That is a 13 per cent rise on a year earlier.
The biggest number, though, comes to the amount of money that is being spent online.
In 2017 alone, it is estimated consumers spent an incredible $1.474 trillion on e-commerce platforms, up 16 per cent on 2016.
The stats for Australian digital usage also make for interesting reading. It is estimated that over 500,000 Australians began using the internet in 2017, taking the usage rate to almost 90 per cent of the national population of 24 million.
“The Digital in 2018 report highlights the continuing growth of the internet and social media to individuals and businesses around the world. This dynamic has forever altered the customer journey as consumers and B2B professionals increasingly conduct research, make buying decisions, seek support, and recommend brands online,” said Hootsuite CMO Penny Wilson.
“To achieve competitive advantage, all executives must dive deep into digital now, meeting their customers where they are to best market, sell and serve them.”
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