U.K. Internet users have embraced the Web and its possibilities like never before, although some demographic groups remain offline. eMarketer estimates more than 44 million people are online in the U.K. in 2010 and nearly 70 percent of all households have broadband access.
"The cultural divide between Web users and non-users is widening," said Karin von Abrams, eMarketer senior analyst. "For the majority of marketers, though, this is not a problem; their audiences are online in ever-greater numbers. Moreover, Internet users of all ages are increasingly adept at multitasking, connecting with brands on multiple platforms and responding directly to campaigns, promotions and other offers online or via mobile."
Mobile Web use is up sharply in the U.K. About 31 percent of Internet users said they went online via mobile phone in 2010, compared to 23 percent in 2009, the Office for National Statistics reported. A further 26 percent said they accessed the Web through a laptop's wireless connection away from home or work.
"Growing numbers of people are using mobile phones, tablets or Netbooks to access the Internet," said von Abrams.
She added: "Much of this activity still takes place at home, but Web users are quickly discovering the entertainment and utility value of being able to network, watch video, read, search, shop and transact on the go. E-tailers and brands may struggle to keep up with the demands of this audience as mobile takes a central role."