More than 85 per cent of the world's online population has used the internet to make a purchase, increasing the market by 40 per cent in the past two years.
The latest Nielsen Global Online Survey on internet shopping habits found that more than half of internet users have made at least one purchase online in the past month.
"The internet is an integral part of modern life, and almost no aspect of life remains untouched by online media," said Jonathan Carson, international president of Nielsen Online.
"As our lives become more fractured and cluttered, it is not surprising that consumers turn to the unrivalled convenience of the internet when it comes to researching and buying products."
The first Nielsen global survey into internet shopping trends two years ago reported that around 10 per cent of the world's population, some 627 million people, had shopped online.
Within two years, this number had increased by approximately 40 per cent to 875 million.
South Korea has the highest percentage of internet users shopping online at 99 per cent, followed by the UK, Germany and Japan at 97 per cent and the US at 94 per cent.
The most popular items are books (41 per cent purchased in the past three months), clothing/accessories/shoes (36 per cent), videos/DVDs/games (24 per cent), airline tickets (24 per cent) and electronic equipment (23 per cent).
The number of consumers buying books over the internet has increased seven per cent in the past two years, but the biggest increase has been in clothing/accessories/shoes which increased from 20 per cent to 36 per cent.
"Some of the biggest buyers of books on the internet are from developing countries such as China, Brazil, Vietnam and Egypt, indicating huge growth potential for online retailers that can target these fast-growing markets," said Carson.
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