Understanding Chinese online users and their visits to websites : Application of Zipf's law

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

11 Scopus Citations
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Author(s)

  • Qiqi Jiang
  • Chuan-Hoo Tan
  • Chee Wei Phang
  • Juliana Sutanto
  • Kwok-Kee Wei

Related Research Unit(s)

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)752-763
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Information Management
Volume33
Issue number5
Online published21 Jun 2013
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013

Abstract

Competition for consumers to visit company websites has intensified in recent years. An important indicator of website popularity (and consequent survival) is the extent to which the website can draw consumer visits vis-à-vis other websites. A majority of the current understanding on consumer visits is limited to a single website, and leaves little knowledge on the performance of one website compared with others. In tracking the Internet usage behavior of 200 individuals in Mainland China for 30 consecutive days, we applied Zipf's law to identify the divergence points separating popular websites from non-popular ones. Two measurements were used, namely, visit traffic (number) and visit engagement (time spent). We observed that 94.87% of the entire visit traffic is devoted to 15.08% of all visited websites, whereas 84.63% of engagements are on the top 6.16% visited websites. These findings suggest that few websites accounted for the bulk of online traffic and time. Further, we segmented the dataset based on two key proxy variables of user demographics, which are gender and occupation. The findings on visit traffic remained salient after considering user segments, but the findings on website engagement varied across different user segments. Our further analysis, which categorized the visited websites by their main service, revealed the type of Internet users attracted to popular websites. © 2013 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Research Area(s)

  • Chinese Internet market, Internet usage pattern, User demographics, Zipf's law

Citation Format(s)

Understanding Chinese online users and their visits to websites : Application of Zipf's law. / Jiang, Qiqi; Tan, Chuan-Hoo; Phang, Chee Wei; Sutanto, Juliana; Wei, Kwok-Kee.

In: International Journal of Information Management, Vol. 33, No. 5, 10.2013, p. 752-763.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review