Brands are failing to capitalise on the vast spending power of non-English language Internet consumers, according to a new study.
The research, from digital media company Populis, looked at worldwide Internet use and the size and potential of the global internet population.
Populis commissioned economics consultancy, Cebr, to assess current levels of consumer Internet spend.
The research shows how non-English speakers already make up the vast majority (84%) of global Internet users and collectively spend far more than English-speakers.
Key findings included:
• 1.7 billion of the 2 billion global internet users are non-English speaking
• Non-English speaking consumers spent £225 billion online in 2010, or 60.8% of global online retail sales – £80 billion more than English speakers
• Internet usage rates in English-speaking countries are close to saturation with 73% of consumers online, compared to just 24% in non-English speaking countries
• The average non-English spends an average of £132 per year compared to £457 per year for English-speakers
Rob Harbron, Cebr Economist said: “Our analysis shows that non-English speaking consumers already account for the majority of online spend and as internet penetration rates rise and disposable income growth outpaces the west, they will become even more important to the online community.”
Yet, advertisers have tended to concentrate online marketing and advertising on English language speakers, as Luca Ascani, Co-Founder and Chairman, Populis, explains: “Historically, advertisers wanting to run online campaigns across multiple non-English language markets have faced a fragmented media environment, making consumers in these countries difficult and expensive to reach. But today we’re seeing the emergence of high quality multi-lingual online publishing networks that offer advertisers a single point of contact and a scalable way to reach the largest group of Internet consumers.”
Earlier this month, Populis completed its €8.2 million acquisition of mokono, one of Europe’s leading blog communities.
Ascani continues, “The Internet gives brands the chance to reach vast new markets but until now, supporting moves into new markets with online advertising has been a logistical nightmare for brands. This is no longer the case and we believe a greater focus on strategies for tapping into the non-English markets will lead to fast and sustained growth for brands.”
View an infographic of the key findings from the report below:
The report entitled, ‘Worldwide internet use and online spending patterns’ was compiled by Cebr in August 2011 and includes data from the Office for National Statistics, US Census Bureau, International Telecommunication Union and J.P Morgan.English-speaking internet users were calculated as users in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and a share of those in Canada, the USA, South Africa and other African countries. Non-English speaking countries account for people whose first language is not English.