UKC Readership Survey Results

by Alan James - UKC and UKH Jun/2013
This article has been read 8,081 times

During March and April this year we carried out an extensive Readership survey across both UKClimbing and UKHillwalking. The response was amazing, not least due to the excellent set of prizes offered by some generous sponsors.

UKC/UKH Readership Survey Sponsors, 33 kb

In total we received over 6,600 completed replies which is equavalent to around 10% of our registered user database. Considering that there were more than 50 questions, this represents an amazing effort by our readers and we are very grateful to you all. Don't ask me why I know this fact but in total we received 734,179 separate answers to the questions. Now sorting through that lot has been quite tricky, but we have got some results which I have compiled here into selected highlights from the UKC Survey.

We did a similar survey in 2010 with many of the same questions. A few questions were updated and a few were tweaked to give more useful results for us. Comparing the results was remarkably unrevealing with most similar questions producing almost identical results 3 years on.

Prize Winners - There were nine lucky winners to the prize draw: r_o_b_h2 (BD Cams), Jamie Simpson (Helium Friends), Stef5248 (JetBoil Flash), Rob (Scarpa Instincts), danred (Brunton Bump), Lakesben (make own AlpKit Bouldering Mat), Andy Cairns (Marmot Bag), jlury (CAMP Quickdraws), chris.draper1 (Brunton Ember).

Who are UKC Readers?

  • You are mostly male (86.7%) and live in the UK (89.6%)
  • You are employed or self-employed (76.6%) and earn more than £20,000 (58.0%)
  • You own a compact digital camera (67.6%) and use Apps on your mobile phone (65.0%)

+UKC Readership Survey - age range, 34 kb

  • UKC Readers climb frequently with 86% active more than once a month.
  • You participate in a large number of different activities with walking, skiing and biking being the most popular non-climbing related activities.
  • You are not generally members of climbing clubs (56.8% aren't) although 17.8% are members of regional clubs.

+UKC Readership Survey - climb outside, 29 kb
+UKC Readership Survey - activities, 71 kb
+UKC Readership Survey - how long climbing, 25 kb
+UKC Readership Survey - BMC membership, 18 kb

What climbing media do UKC Readers use?

  • UKC Readers watch lots of climbing videos (98%) with most watching them on UKC (84%)
  • You have bought lots of guidebooks in the last 12 months (85% having bought 1 or more)
  • 47% of you bought 1 or more DVDs or downloads during the last 12 months

+UKC Readership Survey - other web sites, 62 kb
+UKC Readership Survey - video watching, 57 kb

What gear do UKC Readers buy?

  • UKC Readers buy lots of climbing gear in fact 72% spent more than £300 on outdoor gear in the last 12 months.
  • 66% of you have bought new rock shoes in the last year which is equavalent to 43,000 pairs of rock shoes if you extrapolate out the data.
  • 40% have bought a new rope, equivalent to 26,000 ropes which is around 1.3 million metres of rope.

What gear brands have you bought in the last 12 months?

+UKC Readership Survey - Brands, 129 kb

These are the top 50 in the list. The ones in RED have advertised on UKC during the last 12 months.

+UKC Readership Survey - gear purchased, 58 kb

and finally,.... What do UKC Readers think of UKC?

We'll let the figures do the talking here.

Content and usability of UKC

+UKC Readership Survey - News, 32 kb

UKC Forums

+UKC Readership Survey - forum functionality, 37 kb
+UKC Readership Survey - Articles, 31 kb
+UKC Readership Survey - forum moderation, 32 kb
+UKC Readership Survey - navigation , 33 kb
+UKC Readership Survey - forum extra features, 48 kb

Comments received

We also received plenty of comments which we are slowly reading through (remember there were 6,600 responses and about half of them included a comment). All this feedback has been very welcome be it supportive, critical or just a suggestion or idea.

What do we do with the data

The different sections of the survey have different uses for us. The UKC section is extremely useful for us to ensure that the site is giving you the content you want, in the format you want. There was a lot of data about mobile devices and making the forums mobile-friendly was also the most popular choice on the forum-changes question. This is obviously an area we need to work on. The Personal and Climbing sections help us build an accurate demographic of our readers - numbers only, no names or email addresses were collected. This is extremely useful for us to market the web site to advertisers. The Gear section helps us illustrate to our existing advertisers how effective advertising on UKC is. The Media section shows us how well we are doing compared to some rival sites amongst other things.

Overall the 2013 Readership Survey has been a great success and I would like thank everyone who took the time to fill it in, also thanks to the prizes sponsors - Wild Country, Black Diamond, JetBoil, Camp, Brunton, Scarpa, Marmot and Alpkit - whose support was critical in getting such a great response.

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