August 29, 2011

Brands are failing to capitalise on the vast spending power of non-English language Internet consumers, according to digital media company, Populis, which released new research data on worldwide Internet use and the size and potential of the global internet population.

Populis commissioned economics consultancy, Cebr, to assess current levels of consumer Internet spend. The research shows how non-English speakers already make up the vast majority (84%) of global Internet users and collectively spend far more than English-speakers. Key findings included:

- 1.7 billion of the 2 billion global internet users are non-English speaking

- Non-English speaking consumers spent GBP225 billion online in 2010, or 60.8% of global online retail sales - GBP80 billion more than English speakers

- Internet usage rates in English-speaking countries are close to saturation with 73% of consumers online, compared to just 24% in non-English speaking countries

- The average non-English spends an average of GBP132 per year compared to GBP457 per year for English-speakers

Rob Harbron Cebr Economist said: "Our analysis shows that non-English speaking consumers already accounts for the majority of online spend and as internet penetration rates rise and disposable income growth outpaces the west, they will become even more important to the online community."

Yet, advertisers have tended to concentrate online marketing and advertising on English language speakers, as Luca Ascani, Co-Founder and Chairman, Populis, explains: "Historically, advertisers wanting to run online campaigns across multiple non-English language markets have faced a fragmented media environment, making consumers in these countries difficult and expensive to reach. But today we're seeing the emergence of high quality multi-lingual online publishing networks that offer advertisers a single point of contact and a scalable way to reach the largest group of Internet consumers."

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