Experian Hitwise Reveals Canterbury as the UK’s Digital Hotspot

Experian Hitwise Reveals Canterbury as the UK’s Digital Hotspot

  • Analysis reveals top ten digital locations in the UK
  • Sunderland ranked lowest for Internet visits

London, 1 October 2010 — Canterbury has been unveiled as the UK’s digital capital by Experian Hitwise, the online competitive intelligence service. According to Experian Hitwise’s study, the UK’s top 10 digital hotspots are as follows:

Digital hotspots (top 10) Index
Canterbury 188.94
London 115.64
Rochester 114.95
Aberdeen 110.12
Kingston-Upon-Thames 109.63
Bromley 107.50
Twickenham 107.44
Redhill 107.21
Brighton 107.06
Cambridge 106.63

Based on analysis of the number of visits made to 1.4 million websites over a 12-week period (3 July 2010 to 18 September 2010), the UK’s digital hotspots have been ranked according to their index. Any area with an index of over 100 accounts for a larger proportion of UK Internet visits than would be expected given its population. These findings present an accurate and up-to-date picture of where in the UK people are accessing the Internet the most. The analysis highlights that 1.44% of all UK Internet visits came from the Canterbury postal area, despite the area only containing 0.75% of the UK population.

Further analysis of Canterbury using Experian Mosaic, reveals that 9% of the population is made up of ‘Liberal Opinions’ – the Mosaic group most likely to the use the Internet. Consisting mainly of young singles and students, 60% of ‘Liberal Opinions’ use the Internet everyday or almost every day. More than half use the Internet from home, and more than a third (34%) cite the Internet as their favoured means of communicating, both socially and with companies. More than half of this group (54%) also use the Internet as their preferred channel to make purchases. Typical websites visited by ‘Liberal Opinions’ include apple.com and news.bbc.com.

However, it is not only young people that make Canterbury the UK’s digital hotspot. One in five (20%) residents belongs to a Mosaic group called ‘Small Town Diversity’. This group tends to have strong roots in its local community and are mainly in their 60s with grandchildren. The types of websites this group is most likely to visit include online bingo, yachting and boating, fishing and golf.

Also to emerge from Experian Hitwise’s digital analysis, are the areas in the UK where people are least likely to be spending time online:

Digital hotspots (bottom 10) Index
Durham 90.24
Newport 89.86
Wolverhampton 89.26
Blackburn 89.12
Cleveland 88.76
Walsall 88.28
Bradford 87.59
Belfast 86.74
Motherwell 86.01
Sunderland 86.01

Detailed analysis of Sunderland reveals almost a quarter (23.44%) of the population fall under the ‘Ex-Council Community’ Mosaic category, a group where only 32% tend to use the Internet everyday or almost every day. Just over a quarter use the Internet as their preferred channel to communicate both socially and with companies, with many (33%) preferring to use the telephone.

Robin Goad, Research Director, Experian Hitwise, commented: “Our analysis does point towards a north-south digital divide in the UK, but it is certainly not a gulf. Per head of population, Internet usage levels in London are only 34% more than Sunderland, the place where people are least likely to spend time online.

“The Internet is now so popular in the UK that it is impossible to define a ‘typical internet user’. For some, the web is a channel for entertainment and communication, while for others it is the place where they shop and manage their finances. The popularity of these and other online activities varies from town to town across the UK, according to the local population. With the growing popularity of localised Internet services, it is vital for brands to understand the services that will appeal most in local areas.”

For the 12 weeks between 3 July 2010 and 18 September 2010, the 1.4 million websites visited by the online population were ranked by basic postal area. The Experian Hitwise Index was then created as a measure of online visits as a proportion of the total population. An Index score of 100 represents an average, whereas scores over 100 indicate a greater number of Internet visits per capita and reveal a greater propensity for individuals to use the Internet.

Nishma Shah
Telephone: 020 3042 4313
0779 196 7432
Email: nishma.shah@uk.experian.com

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