Way back in March of 2009 a web browser developed by Microsoft – Windows Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) – was launched. In January of this year Microsoft announced that they would no longer provide security updates or technical support for older versions of Internet Explorer, including IE8. With all this said – B2Bs must be aware of IE8 traffic, especially when they are going through a website redesign process.
Now, we’re not saying this is the most pressing issue to consider in a website redesign project, just be aware of a couple of facts:
There are still IE8 users out there. Net Market Share stats show that IE8 is still holding on to 2.88% of the desktop browser market share, this is even more than IE10 at 1.21%. The reason IE8 wont die is because of its relationship to Microsoft’s operating systems: in 2015 Windows XP usage was estimated at 16.94%; more than Windows Vista (1.97%), Windows 8 (3.52%), and Windows 8.1 (10.55%) combined. Windows XP shipped with IE6, which could be upgraded as far as IE8, but no further. A browser is simple to upgrade, but an operating system is not; especially when an upgrade requires the purchase of new hardware. So a whole slew of users are stuck on IE8.
Many of these users are beholden to a big company or government office. For example, large departments can be stuck on older versions of IE due to the nature of the internal applications they paid Microsoft to build which fail on IE7+. There are also a lot of lazy system admins out there in “old school” companies that haven’t seen the need to upgrade.
So, if your a B2B company and your traditional persona or buyer is from a big company or large governmental department that might be considered a little “old school” – then your website might be getting visits from users of IE8.
Ultimately, the quantitative and qualitative data we’ve shared above is meaningless and really the only analytics that matter are your own. So check to see which browsers people are using when visiting your website. In the example below you can see that when looking at sessions from Internet Explorer – more sessions are coming from users with IE8 than IE9 or 10.
Now if you look into this and there aren’t any sessions coming from IE8, then by all means ignore it and proceed with your website redesign without having to worry about supporting IE8 users. However, if you do have IE8 users in your analytics it is worth weighing the pro/cons of making sure your new website will provide an optimal experience for all users – especially those possible buyers who are stuck on older versions of IE because of their office policies – and that’s why B2Bs must aware of IE8 traffic.
*Note: While writing this, we found the “Beeker” image here: Internet Explorer the most feared icon of your desktop
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