Online shopping in the UK has increased by over 100 per cent during the six months between June and December 96, according to NOP Research Group's latest Internet User Profile Study. Over a quarter of a million people in the UK are now shopping online each month.
In addition, the proportion of current Web users who would consider shopping online during the next six months increased by 69 per cent over the same period.
Of those making purchases during the past four weeks, three out of five spent less than #50, while one in seven spent more than #500. The findings suggest that over #1 billion of online transactions will occur during 1997 (given current levels of expenditure).
The most popular purchases were computer hardware (27 per cent) and software (23 per cent), which were made predominantly by business users. However, respondents also used the Web to buy books, CDs and travel tickets. In addition, just over a third (36 per cent) of all Web users said they'd consider buying banking and financial services online during the next six months.
Key findings indicate that some 11 per cent of Web users said they had shopped online in the past four weeks, while some 22 per cent of all Internet users said they would consider online shopping in the next six months. Of those saying they would consider shopping online in the next six months, two out of five are home users (those expected to provide the greater volume of sales), while the remaining 60 per cent are business users (who tend to spend more per item). Those respondents who spend #1,000 or more a month are business users.
One in 10 Internet users have disclosed their credit card details on the Net, compared with just one in 25 a year ago. Over the past six months, the proportion of users sourcing travel information has increased from 16 per cent to 23 per cent of all Internet users, while those using it for holiday information has increased from 13 per cent to 18 per cent.
The number of current Web users in the UK increased from just over one million to almost two-and-a-half million between December 95 and December 96. The number of people in the UK who have tried the Internet increased from 2.7 million in December 95 to 4.6 million in December 96.
The findings indicate that almost 10 per cent of people in the UK have now tried the Internet. Future intention to use the Internet is highest among 15 to 24 year olds, who constitute almost 40 per cent of all users.
"The findings suggest that a small but growing number of Web users at work and, increasingly, at home are realising the potential of the Web as a medium for the purchase of products and services," said NOP's Richard Jameson.
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