New data from The Nielsen Company reflects some interesting new trends related to both the worldwide recession and the somewhat incongruous growth of Web browsing on mobile phones. In a nutshell, users are looking for mobile phone services, food and cooking sites, and coupons, all of which make perfect sense in today's economy.
Web sites related to mobile phones--both handsets and services--showed the highest traffic growth in the UK posting 58 percent growth on a year-to-year basis. According to Nielsen:
Visits to Nokia's site grew by 203 percent, while Vodafone and O2 also posted solid growth (91 percent and 79 percent, respectively). At the same time, schemes that enable consumers to recycle their old mobiles for cash drove more people to related Web sites for information.
Food and cooking sites (as well as television programming) have taken the place of real estate and home design obsessions as people look for comfort that's accessible on a lower budget than property or remodeling.
And, of course, promotional and coupon sites remain major themes as we all look to get more bang for the buck.
Of interest is the fact that much of the traffic to these sites is driven by specific marketing program, several of which contain social aspects, such as Coca-Cola's "Coke Zone," which offers rewards and prizes by collecting points from specially-marked bottles that can be redeemed online.
From a branding perspective this is good news as companies can tie in programs with online properties that are significantly easier and less expensive to maintain. And, the valuable data they get from consumer behavior can more readily be put to good use once users actions are able to be tracked in a consistent manner.
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