As internet users spend more time consuming online media and less time shopping on the web, paid search rates for online retailers are declining.

This is the conclusion of a new report from Hitwise, which shows that 8.6 per cent of all UK web visits went to online retail sites in March.

By comparison, some 9.8 per cent went to social networking sites and 11.6 per cent went to entertainment websites.

Robin Goad, director of research at Hitwise, said: "The growth of social networking, online video and the continuing popularity of news websites has meant that an increasing proportion of consumer’s online time in the UK has been devoted to online media."

As a result, paid search rates for online retailers launching internet marketing and pay per click campaigns have declined.

Retail sites are now receiving less traffic from paid for links on search engines and more from social networking sites.

Meanwhile, a recent survey carried out by eBay Advertising revealed that 61 per cent of web users pay more attention to internet marketing when they are visiting e-commerce sites, New Media Age reports.

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