There has been a huge increase in the number of adults buying online in the six months to March this year, according to the latest Target Group Index (TGI) data. The figures show that buying has risen from almost nothing in October 2000 to 30% this last Spring.
The research supports the contention of many recent commentators that consumers are beginning to buy online in their millions. Growth in Internet shopping easily outstrips the growth in the number of people going online during this period - it therefore represents a change in shopping behaviour among existing surfers.
The latest surge in buying has been partly explained by the increased commitment to security amongst Internet companies and banks. Many of the latter have now stated that they will underwrite any money taken from accounts as a result of someone else viewing financial details online.
The TGI data is also clear on what consumers are now buying online. It reveals that the most popular recent purchases are holidays and flights (28%), followed by music and videos (23%) and then books (21%). Demographically, over half of these buyers are men and those aged 15 to 24 are 45% more likely than the average adult. This is in contrast with those aged 65+ who are almost 80% less likely than the average to buy. Online spend is also related to social grade, with ABs almost 50% more likely to do so than other groups.
Attitudinally, Internet shoppers appear far more likely than the average to agree that they try to keep up with developments in technology. They are similarly more likely to look forward to services such as home shopping on their TV. Over a third are also more likely to agree they look forward to video-on-demand. And convenience is becoming a factor, with the proportion of people who agree that Internet shopping makes life easier having risen to 6% in total.
All articles 2006-21 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.