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Did you know that Shakira of 'Hips Don't' Lie' fame has the fourth most liked page on Facebook after Ronaldo in first place Real Madrid CF in second and FC Barcelona in third? Or that Singapore has the fastest internet connection speed in the world (180.57mbps)? Or that the standout search trend in the last three months was for queries relating to the FIFA World Cup? Neither did we until the 2018 Q3 Global Digital Statshot report by We Are Social and Hootsuite winged its glorious way to our inbox. We say 'glorious' as this report is a veritable treasure trove of facts and figures around the current global state of digital making it an essential read for anyone involved in eCommerce and digital marketing (and indeed those interested in pop culture and random trivia). And while we highly recommend you grab a coffee and go through the full report at your leisure here in the meantime do please enjoy our overview of the most relevant stats in this handy blog.

So let's dig in

4.1 billion people or 54% of the world's entire population are now online with the number of internet users growing by 8% in the last year. This translates to 300 million new users and an average of almost 10 new users every second. So in the time it took you to read this paragraph the internet acquired around 80 new users. Unsurprisingly the march of mobile continues apace. There are now 5.3 million smartphones in use globally. However there are only 5.1 million unique users indicating people are using more than one smartphone. Data usage and app spend are also up with the latter being fueled by downloads in developing nations particularly India and Indonesia. Facebook is top of the charts with its various apps comprising 4 out of the 5 most downloaded apps last June.

Here are more detailed stats on mobile:

Online shoppers are on the rise too. 92% of internet users visit online retailers every month up 2% from last quarter. And over 75% made a purchase on at least one of their visits. Shopping apps are also seeing increased adoption with 65% of female internet users using shopping apps each month and 62% of male users up from 61% and 59% last quarter.

Here are more detailed breakdowns of the report's eCommerce stats:

Voice search is another winner. The global average rate of usage in the last month has risen to 37% with the highest rate of usage occurring in Indonesia (49%). Early adopters aged 16-24 used it far more often in the past month than those silver surfers aged 55-64 45% versus just 17%. This growth highlights why all brands must optimize their marketing strategies for voice search. Not only that but they must also begin adapting to intelligent voice-controlled personal assistants such as Alexa or they risk extinction as discussed in our recent blog series on AI.

Here are more of the stats on Voice Search:

Social is still on the rise too. Over 3.3 billion people now use social media every month up 11% in the last year which equates to 328 million people and almost one million new social media users per day. Of the social networks Facebook is still large and in charge. It now stands at 2.2 billion active users up 67 million from the previous quarter. But YouTube is biting at its heels with 1.9 billion active users. It'll be most interesting to see how that competition plays out. But it's not all good news for Zuck'.

We Are Social and Hootsuite also found a staggering 20% drop in Facebook ad engagement from the previous quarter. Likes and comments are down too. Users liked an average of 10 posts in the last month down from 11 in the last quarter while average comments on posts were down from 5 times a month to 4. There's no way of telling exactly what's causing this. It could be fallout from the likes of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. It could be standard seasonal fluctuation. It could be Facebook's own changes to its news feed. It could be some combination of all of the above. Or none at all. Time will tell. Regardless we advise eCommerce strategists and digital marketers to watch developments closely as social strategies and budgets will need to be adjusted accordingly if this heralds the beginning of a downward trend on the social network giant.

So there you have it folks!

Like Shakira's hips (if we're to bring this blog full circle) the stats don't lie. The world just grows more and more digital and within that trends like mobile commerce and voice search ebb and flow in their own weird and wonderful ways too. For brands to survive and thrive they must continuously monitor the ever-changing digital landscape and ensure their strategies are always as in tune with it as possible. Buy Now technology is an invaluable tool to stay ahead in this new digital-first world order. Contact our team today to learn what it can do for your brand.

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