Magazine article Marketing

Looking to the US to Compare Sites Misleads Market

Magazine article Marketing

Looking to the US to Compare Sites Misleads Market

Article excerpt

Nicola Morse is marketing director at Lycos UK

For a long time now the UK has looked to the US market for leadership and foresight into how new technology has an impact on lives and how the markets will develop. I believe the UK can no longer be compared with the US market.

Although we have a great deal to learn from the US with regards to online business development and consumer behaviour, we are fundamentally very different markets. Not only do the UK and US have different economies, demographics and consumer mindsets, but often UK consumers cannot benefit from many of the e-tail opportunities spouted to them from US companies.

Despite these differences, whether we look at measurements from Nielsen/Netratings or MMXI Europe, UK domains are still being measured against their US counterparts. Why is this?

Think for a moment about consumers and why they use the internet. According to Forrester Research, the ten primary reasons for internet usage are travel, music, computers and IT, shopping, education, finance, entertainment, news and TV and radio. Although there are occasions when an experienced user will specifically want to visit a US site, it is up to UK web sites and portals to be smart and intuitive enough to capture the users who want this specific content and deliver it in the UK. It is not good enough to simply count US traffic to bolster figures.

Generally, as a UK consumer and internet user, why would I want to search for flights departing from the US? Would I find local television programming information? And what is the benefit of purchasing my books from Barnes & Noble when I can order them from Amazon locally?

It is for these reasons consumers demand localised content, which is country specific. This is why many of the major US dotcoms such as Etoys and Urbanfetch, did not succeed in the UK or mainland European markets. …

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