New findings from the browser war front lines: Internet Explorer rules by day, Safari by night
Contributed by Joshua Bixby.
Most of us tend to hold preconceived notions as to which browsers people use at work versus what they use at home. These semi-educated guesses are based on anecdotal evidence, as very little data is available on the subject.
There’s plenty of aggregate data on overall browser usage, but we at Strangeloop wanted to delve further in hopes of answering a few lingering questions:
- How does usage vary throughout the day?
- Does everyone switch to Chrome or Safari at night?
- Do people actually like Internet Explorer?
So we ran a few tests...
1. Gathered monthly traffic data from two large North America-based ecommerce sites.
2. Isolated traffic for the four major browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari.
3. Aggregated data for each day of the week and plotted it on a graph for each site.
4. Aggregated data for each hour of the day and plotted it on a graph for each site.
Browser usage throughout the week
• The vast majority of visitors used Internet Explorer.
• Safari traffic increased dramatically over the weekend.
• Weekend traffic flatlined or decreased for every browser except Safari.
• Friday is a big browsing/shopping day across all browsers.
Browser usage throughout the day
Our main observation is that Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome usage decreases towards the end of the day, just as Safari is trending upwards.
Though this data represents only two websites, we can comfortably draw two conclusions:
1. Internet Explorer should remain the default browser for testing North American ecommerce sites. Though usage dips at night, the majority of browsing/shopping is still done on this browser.
2. The good times are rolling on Safari. By day’s end, users are flocking to this browser. We don’t know for sure, but we're theorizing that this is due to the iPad market's skyrocketing growth. Either way, the trend is prominent and persistent.
For more on browser usage, check out our recent post: Has IE8 run its course as a default test browser?