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Monday, January 28, 2008

More Than 875 Million Consumers Have Shopped Online

More than 85 percent of the world's online population has used the Internet to make a purchase -- increasing the market for online shopping by 40 percent in the past two years -- according to the latest Nielsen Global Online Survey on Internet shopping habits. Globally, more than half of Internet users have made at least one purchase online in the past month, according to Nielsen.

"The Internet is no longer a niche technology -- it is mass media and an utterly integral part of modern life. Almost no aspect of life remains untouched by online media. As our lives become more fractured and cluttered, it isn't surprising that consumers turn to the unrivaled convenience of the Internet when it comes to researching and buying products," says Jonathan Carson, president, international, Nielsen Online.

"When The Nielsen Company conducted its first global survey into Internet shopping trends two years ago, approximately 10 percent of the world's population (627 million) had shopped online," says Bruce Paul, vice president, customized research, Nielsen U.S. "Within two years, this number has increased by approximately 40 percent (to 875 million)."

Among Internet users, the highest percentage shopping online is found in South Korea, where 99 percent of those with Internet access have used it to shop, followed by the UK (97 percent), Germany (97 percent), Japan (97 percent) with the U.S. eighth, at 94 percent. Additionally, in South Korea, 79 percent of these Internet users have shopped in the past month, followed by the UK (76 percent) and Switzerland (67 percent) with the U.S. at 57 percent.

Globally, the most popular and purchased items over the Internet are books (41 percent purchased in the past three months), clothing/accessories/shoes (36 percent), videos / DVDs / games (24 percent), airline tickets (24 percent) and electronic equipment (23 percent).

Among Germany's Internet users, 55 percent say they bought books, 42 percent had bought Clothes/Accessories/Shoes and one in four had purchased Music/Videos/DVD's in the past three months.

During the same period, among Internet users in the UK, 45 percent bought books online, followed by Videos/DVDs/Games (44 percent), Clothing/Accessories/Shoes (38 percent), music (37 percent) and one in four Internet shoppers also purchased and airline tickets/reservations online.

Among U.S. Internet users in the past month, 41 percent bought Clothing/Shoes/Accessories, 38 percent bought books and one in three Internet shoppers bought Videos/DVDs/Games.

The number of Internet consumers buying books over the Internet has increased 7 percent in the past two years but the biggest increase has been in Clothing / Accessories / Shoes which increased from 20 percent to 36 percent. "Some of the biggest buyers of books on the Internet are from developing countries -- China, Brazil, Vietnam and Egypt -- indicating massive growth potential for online retailers that can specifically target these fast-growing markets," says Carson.

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