Just an Online Minute... Web Usage Slows Down
The report revealed that on a worldwide basis, total Internet traffic was down 1% to 296.5 million unique visitors in June versus 299.7 million unique visitors in May. In the U.S. traffic was down 3% to 128.4 million unique visitors in June versus 132.0 million unique visitors in May.
netScore's Top 50 Property Report showed a slowing in total Internet traffic on a month-to-month basis, which can be largely attributed to the decline in traffic from the at- school audience segment. Predictably, visitor traffic from at-school computers, which represented almost 8% of U.S. Internet traffic in May, began declining as summer vacations started and decreased 40.5% in June compared to May. As a result, 74% of web properties in the netScore Top 50 report experienced a decrease in traffic during the month.
"netScore's June data reveals that the decrease in Internet usage from May to June is most likely linked to the decrease in traffic from the at-school audience segment," confirmed netScore's Maurice Boissiere. But, he pointed out, the data also point to the "slowing of growth in the Internet user base. Last year, the addition of new online users more than offset the seasonal decline in the at-school segment. That is not the case this year. Looking to the future, this trend suggests that, to be successful, many online marketers must increasingly respond to the challenge of generating sales in a medium that is no longer showing explosive growth. This will likely increase the need for even more creative and cost-effective ways of marketing."
While overall Internet usage did not grow in June, the Travel category actually became a hotbed of activity and succeeded in posting modest growth, with 84.5 million worldwide unique visitors visiting a Travel site. This represents a 2.2% growth rate versus May, with almost three-quarters of travel sites in the Top 25 Travel Report experiencing an increase in visitor traffic from May to June. The launch of orbitz.com on June 4 was a particularly bright spot for the category. This new online travel site attracted over 7.5 million worldwide unique visitors during June, representing 4.9 million U.S. visitors and 2.6 million international visitors, and making it the 4th most visited travel site. This compares to 9.9 million worldwide unique visitors at travelocity.com and 14.8 million worldwide at expedia.com.