Trade Me Browser Stats

I’m pleased to see Trade Me have started posting their browser stats again, something I used to do here, way back in the day.

Here is the latest update, for May 2010: Browsers and Operating Systems

When people talk about Open Data they are nearly always referring to government data.  But, I think there are also lots of examples like this, where private companies have data which has a public good, and which they can open up at no material cost to themselves.

Trade Me is such a popular site that their audience can pretty much be used as a proxy for the internet in New Zealand, so this gives developers working on smaller or less popular sites a good idea of the sort of browsers they should be targeting.

Remember, if the equivalent numbers for your site are different from these there are two possible explanations:

  1. Your audience is a subset of the population which has a browser bias (e.g. if you attract more technical people you’ll probably tend to see a higher proportion of newer browsers and also some lesser known browsers that are not widely used in the mainstream)
  2. Your site makes it difficult for people with older browsers to use your site, so they choose not to.

Just about everybody assumes #1, when #2 is often more likely.

Remember that the 5% of Trade Me visitors using IE6 is still 31,500 unique visitors per day, or nearly one Westpac Stadium full.  Are you happy to turn all of those people away with a message telling them to upgrade their “browser”, what ever that means to them?

Browser stats for May

Sam sent through the latest Trade Me browser stats (for May ’07):

Browser Market Share
IE 6 51.3%
IE 7 29.9%
Firefox 2.0 9.2%
Firefox 1.5 3.9%
Safari 2.1%
Firefox 1.0 1.1%
Others 2.1%

It’s interesting to compare these to previous months: February ’07 and December ’06.

After growing from nothing to 30% market share in the first few months of the year IE 7 has now totally stalled. It seems that everybody who is going to get the new version via Windows Update already has.

IE 6 is hanging in there at around 51%. Presumably all of these people have either disabled Windows Update, work for somebody who has disabled Windows Update or are using an illegitimate copy of Windows.

Perhaps, as Robert McLaw suggested in a recent post about compromised web servers, Microsoft’s policy of not patching pirated copies of Windows is actually causing them more problems than it is solving?

In other browser news, the first beta of Netscape 9 was released last week. I was surprised to find there still was a Netscape, to be honest. I’m not entirely sure why they are bothering.

The rise and rise of IE7

Juha posted recently about his server stats, noting that IE7 has overtaken IE6 and that Firefox is now 1/3rd of the market.

This is a reflection of the tech-savvy-ness of his audience.

Looking at the server stats for February across all of the Trade Me sites:

  • IE7 has increased to 26.7%. While this is up from 12.2% in December it is still some way behind IE6 at 55.3%
  • Firefox users are slowly shifting across to Firefox 2.0, which is now up to 6.4%. But, the overall market share across the three different versions of Firefox combined is steady at just under 13%, where it has been for the last 6 months.
  • Windows Vista (or is that Vus-tah in this part of the world?) is only just on the radar at 0.6%.

Interesting times!

Trade Me browser stats for December

In December our three sites (Trade Me, FindSomeone, Old Friends) combined received just over 66% of all domestic page views recorded by Neilsen//NetRatings.

So, our server stats are probably the closet thing there is to a census of the technology kiwis are using to access websites.


Browser Market share Dec-06 +/- since July-06
IE6 70.3% -12.3%
IE7 12.2% +10.8%
Firefox 1.5 7.1% -0.3%
Firefox 2.0 3.8% +3.8%
Firefox 1.0 1.9% -1.2%
Safari 1.6% +0.5%
IE5.x 1.4% -0.7%
All others 1.7% -0.6%

There has been a lot of change in the last couple of months following the release of IE7 and Firefox 2.0, which together now account for over 15% of our visitors.

Despite all of the good press that Firefox gets within the web development community IE is still dominant with around 84% market share. IE7 has quickly jumped to 12%, no doubt thanks to Windows Update. It will be interesting to see how this tracks over the next few months once all of the users who will receive the update automatically are accounted for.

Screen resolutions

Screen res. Market share Dec-06 +/- since July-06
1024×768 54.1% -2.0%
800×600 15.2% -4.7%
1280×1024 13.2% +1.2%
1280×800 6.6% +2.2%
1152×864 2.9% +0.1%
All others 8.0% +3.2%

There is a slow but clear shift towards larger monitors. At the top end things fragment quite a bit, with various different sizes to consider. Over 30% of our visitors are now using 1280x or bigger. But that still leaves a majority using smaller resolutions. It’s depressing to think that many of these people probably have a monitor capable of a higher resolution, but are unable (?) to change the setting.

How does your setup compare?
Personally I prefer Firefox. I switched when Firefox 1.0 was released and haven’t been tempted back. I use a 19″ monitor which runs at 1280×1024.

Which raises some interesting questions for web designers, developers and testers:

If you develop using Firefox do you really have your users in mind? At Trade Me our test team all use IE6 as their primary browser, for reasons that should be obvious looking at the table above.

Have you already abandoned IE5.x users? This is still a big audience. 1.4% of Trade Me users represents around 40,000 unique visitors each month.

How does your site look at 800×600? These stats are a reflection of our audience, but they’re also a reflection of our site. The new Trade Me design, launched in November, targets users with a resolution of 1024×768 or larger, but we’re also careful to ensure that the site still works for users at 800×600. On the homepage, for example, the size of the category links is reduced and the navigation tags are repositioned below the logo and banner advert. If your stats show a lower percentage of users with small resolutions, why is that? If your site works poorly for these users they are unlikely to come back.

How do your stats compare to these?

Source: all of the numbers above come from Neilsen//NetRatings.