The survey also showed that:
- For the first time the majority of adults (55%) read newspapers online – a significant increase over the 20% that did so in 2007
- More than one in five ordered groceries online
- 66% use the internet for finding information about goods and services
- 50% of adults use the internet to accesss their bank account
- 92% of the 25-34 age group bought goods or services online
The ONS figures showed that the internet isn’t just the domain of the young. Just over 9% of the over 65-year-old group reported using a computer every day in 2006, but by 2013 the figure had climbed to 37%.
The rapid growth of Facebook and Twitter is also changing the way people use the internet, and not just for the younger age groups. Almost half of all adults were on social networks in 2012 and, of those, 40% of 45 to 54-year-olds used them to communicate.
Overall though, email remains the most popular online past-time.
Tablets may be a ‘must-have’ gadget but laptops are still more widely used to access the internet. In 2012, 21% of people used a tablet to access the internet outside their home or office, while 34% used a laptop device.
The mobile internet now appears to be a regular feature of life for many people, with the ONS saying 60% of adults went online in 2012 via wi-fi hotspots or mobile networks.
The continued spread of internet shopping is also reflected in the survey. Two-thirds of the online population shopped online in 2012, up from just over half in 2008, with clothes and sports goods the most popular purchase. The most keen to buy online were 25 to 34-year-olds (87%).
So what does this mean for insurance brokers?
For insurance brokers with an established online presence it’s good news. The online channel will continue to become an even more important facility for customers to search for, and buy insurance products, advice and broker services.
Brokers with a website should continue to invest in their digital marketing programmes to attract customers online. Given the upsurge in the purchase of goods and services online, incorporating quote, buy and self-serve facilities into a broker website would seem a sound strategy.
For those brokers who haven’t yet created their own online real estate, or have neglected to develop their website, this survey should act as a real motivator. Customer demand for online access to information, goods and service continues its rapid upward trend, so now is a great time to jump in and add the channel to your own business. What broker does not want to attract a wider pool of business?
If you want to take the next step, find the right insurance software
At Quotall our insurance software was purpose designed to enable multi-channel e-trading, and we can offer brokers both wholesale e-trading facilities as well as consumer websites with integrated quote, buy and self serve facilities. For more information please feel free to contact us – we’d be happy to help.
In addition, we can also offer brokers a full suite of digital marketing services to get their online presence up and running with the minimum amount of fuss and expense. Please contact Greg Roche for further information.