This is what happens every minute on the Internet: Learn about online consumer behavior

When we want to analyze online consumer behavior, first, we have to delve into the ever-changing digital landscape, exploring what happens every minute in the vast world of the Internet. 

 digital behaviour in researches

This is even more so the case in this day and age, when the world population has surpassed eight billion (and continues to grow), with numbers rising to 5.44 billion smartphone users and 5.16 billion Internet users, according to data from Digital 2023: Global Overview Report. 


In this blog, we’ll share with you how online consumer behavior has evolved and describe the tools you can use to maintain your brand’s competitive position in the market. 



Evolution of online consumer behavior  

In recent years, we’ve witnessed significant changes in online consumer behavior globally—even beyond those brought by the pandemic. In fact, the abovementioned report reveals that this behavior is evolving in unexpected ways. Its main conclusions include: 


  • A significant change in the number of Internet users globally 
  • An unexpected decline in average time spent online 
  • Changing preferences on social media platforms 
  • A change in the devices used to access digital content and services 
  • Surprising changes in online search behaviors globally 
  • A notable growth in digital advertising 


Indeed, several of these phenomena around online consumer behavior emerge due to the fact that, undoubtedly, consumers are increasingly more informed and more demanding, compared to previous years. 


As we know, in the past, Internet use was mainly limited to searching for information about products and services. Now, more active participation and easy access to different devices have changed the landscape. 


In addition, social media usage has experienced a considerable increase, playing a crucial role in purchasing decisions. Having the possibility to access comments, references, and experiences related to the products and services offered gives consumers power over the market. 


As a result of these changes, brands have needed to look for new angles to attack in online consumer behavior to maintain their competitive edge. 



What happens every minute on the Internet? 

According to the company Domo (2023), currently, the following happens every minute on the Internet: 


  • 5.9 million searches are conducted on Google. 
  • 1.7 million posts are shared on Facebook/Meta. 
  • Viewers spend 1 million hours streaming content. 
  • 230 million emails are sent. 
  • 66,000 photos are shared on Instagram. 
  • 347,200 tweets are posted. 
  • 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube. 
  • 140,600 hours are devoted to Zoom meetings.  
  • Amazon shoppers spend USD 443,000. 


These figures make it clear that studying digital consumer behavior is more than necessary today for marketing and market research professionals. consumer behavior tools

A key element in online activities: Preference analysis 

Despite the figures above, as we just mentioned, an analysis of current statistics reveals that the total time spent on online activities has decreased slightly compared to the year prior to the study. In 2022, users spent a daily average of 6 hours and 37 minutes on the Internet. In 2021, the figure hovered around 7 hours (6 hours and 57 minutes). 


However, this does not indicate that the Internet has decreased in importance in people’s lives. On the contrary, the data shows that users are more selective and determined in their online activities. They prioritize quality over quantity. 


In addition, it’s clear that browsing preferences vary across the spectrum of online consumer behavior. For example: 


  • For new generations, social media content is especially relevant.  
  • Baby boomers mostly prefer to stay up to date on the news and current events. 
  • Other users place more value on the diversity of products available or are looking for entertainment.  

Therefore, it’s crucial to conduct in-depth research, understanding their behavior to identify and learn about the right target audience. 



Research tools to understand the online consumer 

Fortunately, there are several alternatives that allow us to gain a deeper understanding of online consumer behavior. Some of these are: 


Traditional market research 

Both quantitative and qualitative market research studies, conducting online surveys and focus groups as well as interviews to collect direct information on online consumer behavior, are undoubtedly tools that still hold water today. 


These techniques make it possible to glean different insights about consumer preferences and needs. And, by combining both approaches, researchers can gain a comprehensive understanding of opinions that define the digital consumer. 


Analysis of browsing data (behavioral data) 

Analyzing online consumer behavior data involves diving into the depths of browsing. Behavioral data enables accessing information on websites visited, searches conducted, and purchases made (including the place of purchase and the transaction value), as well as many other digital consumer activities, regardless of the device used. 


This data provides valuable information about interests, e-commerce metrics, buying patterns, and consumer preferences. Since it enables learning about not only a brand’s own consumers but also the competition’s, it gives brands a significant edge. 


To access this type of data, data providers, such as Netquest, exist. They have modern data collection technologies, as well as high standards on consent and privacy. 


Don’t miss it: Behavioral data: High-quality data for a 360-degree view 



Analysis of internal databases 

Additionally, thoroughly analyzing brands’ own databases can also provide valuable information about customers. Examining data on frequency and purchase values makes it possible to identify patterns in online consumer behavior. 


This information enables a better understanding of how customers interact with a brand’s products or services, discovering which products are the most popular and how much customers are willing to spend on them. 


Similarly, by diving into purchasing data, it’s possible to identify complementary or related products that consumers tend to buy together. This can guide cross-selling strategies and increase the customer’s lifetime value. 


Importantly, analyzing an internal database requires having the appropriate tools to collect, store, and analyze data securely and efficiently. In addition, compliance with privacy and data protection regulations must be guaranteed to ensure confidentiality and consumer trust. 



Advantages of learning about online consumer behavior 

As a result of high-quality data on consumers’ digital behavior, market researchers and marketing professionals have the ability to: 


  • Obtain key market information  
  • Identify new potential markets and opportunities for growth 
  • Carry out more precise and detailed segmentation, providing more personalized products/services and communications 
  • Develop products and services tailored to consumers’ real needs 
  • Encourage greater customer retention, gaining the loyalty of existing customers  


In a nutshell, it opens the door to more informed and strategic decision-making, based on reliable evidence. 


Enhancing market research with data quality 

In conclusion, it is well recognized that a researcher must have good information, in addition to knowing how to use it appropriately, to be well prepared. In this way, they have a greater chance of attracting a higher number of customers, since understanding consumers’ preferences and needs fosters designing more profiled and effective marketing strategies. 


If you’re interested in receiving a complete snapshot of your consumer’s online behavior, don’t hesitate to reach out. At Netquest, we’re committed to offering different types of high-quality data, following international privacy and market research standards. Contact us and defend your brand in the hyperdynamic digital environment! 

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