A new study conducted by Plusnet Business has shown that the average Brit spends around ten hours a day connected to the net.
The survey showed that almost a third of those questioned insisted that they are connected to the internet at all times and “can’t even queue or take a short journey without entertaining themselves online.”
24% of people said that they needed to be connected in case anything should happen that would require them to inform family and friends, demonstrating the increase in demand for access across the country.
Nearly half said that they need access in public areas and 40% reckoned they would not choose a hotel that didn’t offer internet access.
Many people went even further, stating that they would not use a restaurant, pub or shopping centre without access if there were others nearby who offered it. London surfers were the most demanding and admitted that they need (or want) to be connected at all times.
However, many of those said this was to relieve boredom, rather than for business reasons.
“Through the Plusnet Business survey we can see that installing something as simple as free Wi-Fi for customers can help generate repeat custom and definition within a market,” said Nick Silverwood, Head of Business for Plusnet.
“With increased competition in the hospitality and retail markets, it’s important for small businesses to understand how investing in customer broadband has the potential to really boost sales. With over one in ten [12%] respondents estimating that 21-30% of their profit is down to a fast and reliable Internet connection, there is a clear benefit to getting online.”
Considering our report last week on how online businesses are overcoming the recession, it would seem that businesses need to give more thought not just to e-commerce, but also to providing net access to customers within the hospitality and high street shopping sectors.