In the early days of the web, it was only used by a few universities, connected by telephone lines and using simple text to exchange messages. Now almost anyone can browse the web with internet connections that can stream live video or download movies in minutes. The depth and breadth of any market on the internet is astonishing.
Everyone who buys speaks English.
We have a website that is almost exclusively geared to selling products and services in Australia, yet around 1/3rd of our traffic comes from India and China because we write about issues that affect businesses globally. When doing business online, you have to keep in mind that your next customer may be from the other side of the world, browsing using a translator. If you have automatic payment gateways, what will you do if someone buys from overseas, how will you ship to them?
The web always looks the same.
There are hundreds of different ways you can interact with the web. Traditionally using Internet Explorer on a PC was by far the dominant way people interacted with the web, because no one changed the default option that came with their computer. Now people are starting to use other browsers like Opera and Google Chrome, and using their phones. Each browser and system works differently and has different features.
Google is Search Engines
In Australia, Google makes up around 94% of all searches. Whereas in China Baidu makes up 65% and Google makes up 33%. Globally there are thousands of different search engines for different areas of the web. There are some, like Froogle (Google’s product search) that just focus on the price of products sold online
People make decisions exclusively on their own
97 percent of consumers now use online media when researching products or services in their local area. Consumers use 7.9 different media sources when shopping for products or services in their local area, up from 6.5 sources in 2009 and 5.8 in 2008. Consumers soak up a massive range of information before they make a final decision.
The internet is increasingly becoming a place of constant feedback. Between Twitter and Google showing user reviews, businesses and customers can see how a business is performing in real time. Word of Mouth is now THE most important consideration in operating a business online.
People who spend time online, only spend about 30 seconds per website.
There are communities for everything, from ecommerce to babies. The level of interaction in those communities is staggering. A user on a website like Reddit.com spends an average of 15 minutes per session, and Facbook, 11.5 minutes per session. These people are loyal and interactive. Visiting and spending time in the forums of your industry is a must.
Only Geeks use their phone for the web.
Mobile users currently make up around 5% of all web browsing, and we already know that those browsers are tech-savvy, heavily connected, early adopters. By the end of 2011, we expect, mobile browsing to make up as much as 15% of all web browsing. We also know that mobile browsers spend more time on websites than normal browsers do. Mobile browsers have different requirements (screen size, media use etc) to desktop browsers, they do not have all the same functions as normal desktop browser.