Millennials Up Their Time Online

WSLStrategicRetail-Average-Time-Spent-Online-2012-v-2011-Jan2013Online Americans spent slightly more than one day a week online last year, increasing their average online time by 3 hours to 26 hours, per results from a WSL/Strategic Retail study. Though the amount of time spent online was relatively consistent among age groups, Millennials (16-34) markedly increased their average internet consumption from the previous year, up 25% to 25 hours a week. Gen Xers (35-46) and Boomers (47-65) increased their average time to 26 and 27 hours per week, respectively, while Seniors (66+) held steady at 25 hours.

The rising tide of internet use didn’t lift all boats, though. The study finds that social media consumption actually declined, down 0.6 hours to a weekly average of 6 hours. And online shopping, despite its soaring total sales volume, remained unchanged at an average of 5 hours per week.

Looking further at those trends, the study reveals that men spent less time on social media than women (5 vs. 7 hours per week), decreasing their hours by 1 from the previous year. (Time spent by women was unchanged.) Gen Xers, Boomers, and Seniors all spent between half and hour and an hour less with social media, while Millennials held steady. These figures contrast starkly with survey results from Ipsos, which found that the average American spends 2 hours per day social networking. Regardless of the differences (likely due to survey methodology), it’s interesting to note the downward trend in social media usage, according to the WSL/Strategic Retail study.

Meanwhile, women continued to outpace men in time spent shopping online, at 5 and 4, hours, respectively, per the study. Both were unchanged from the prior year. The only age group to increase its time spent shopping online was the Millennial demo, up 0.4 hours a week to 5 hours.

Other Findings:

  • Men and women spent an equal amount of time online last year.
  • Boomers’ time spent shopping online was unchanged from the prior year, at 5 hours per week.

About the Data: The WSL/Strategic Retail data is based on a survey of 1,500 adults and 200 teens aged 15-66+.