81% of online Americans Better Informed On Products and Services Thanks to Internet and Mobile Access

In a report published yesterday, the Pew Research Internet Project# documents how Americans online are better informed thanks to the Internet. Compared to five years ago:

  • 81% say their Internet connection has made them better informed about products and services to buy

We have seen the results in the recent official kick off of the 2014 holiday spending season. Cyber Monday sales were up 18% compared to a year ago, reaching $1.735 billion in online spending (desktop)#. The 2013 Great Online Shopping Festival#, a Google initiative, attracted 2 million visitors and had a 3-4 times increase in sales.

Google is also encouraging better quality content through“in-depth articles” to help searchers find better information to serve up in results. Broad topic searches hover at around 10%.

  • 75% feel better informed about national news, 74% about international news, and 72% about pop culture (72%) because of these tools

Quite interesting the bit in the report about international news. This is probably also thanks to the increased adoption of social networks. Before Twitter was featured on Oprah, I distrinctly remember digging for news mostly in original languages through media and friends.

Also notable how six out of ten Internet users (62%) say they are better informed about local news than five years ago. This also explains the numbers piling up on reliable outlets, including those curated by users, during winter storms (see Sandy Conversation Signposts).

  • 72% of internet users say digital technologies have improved their ability to share their ideas and creations with others (vs. 55% in 2006)

This is definitely a data point in the social network camp. As the report of the study states, social networks contribute considerably to the lift in numbers – more than two-thirds of people who go online use them.

Despite concerns about the avalanche of information available online, a clear majority of Americans do not feel overwhelmed.

Asked if they enjoy having so much information at their fingertips or if they feel overloaded, 72% of internet users report they like having so much information, while just 26% say they feel overloaded.

The Institute for Communication Technology predicts# that by 2015 people's online mixed media (video, images, text, gaming) consumption will be roughly around 15.5 hours a day — at the tune of 1.7 trillion hours of traditional and digital media — up from 9 hours of media consumption in 2011.



Valeria is an experienced listener. She designs service and product experiences to help businesses rediscover the value of promises and its effect on relationships and culture. She is also frequent speaker at conferences and companies on a variety of topics. Book her to speak here.

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