RealTime IT News

Survey: 24% of Consumers are Shopping Online

@plan, a provider of online market research, said its survey results show that 24% of Web users are actively shopping online.

The growth is attributed to significant increases in e-retailing across a range of shopping categories, including airline reservations and the stocks and mutual fund sector, according to @plan.

"With the release of this data, marketers now have detailed, actionable research that will unleash the power of e-commerce," said Mark K. Wright, chairman and CEO of @plan. "The numbers demonstrate that the retail model on the Web is coming of age. Our numbers indicate that the trend will continue in 1998 as the Web audience continues to transform from its technological roots to mainstream consumers."

The following are the top five Web Purchase Retail Categories showing the greatest percentage growth within the last 9 months, according to the company's data:

  1. Airline Ticket Reservations up 301%
  2. Stocks and Mutual Funds up 291%
  3. Computer Hardware up 111%
  4. Car rental up 105%
  5. Books up 94%

According to @plan, the Web is retaining its high tech roots but is moving to encompass a mainstream audience. For example, users on the Web for more than 2 years tend to have a more technical background and are fans of tech sites such as CMP Techweb and Jumbo. Consumers on the Web for less than six months are gravitating to the mainstream commercialized sites such as ABC.com and Autoweb, the company said.

The @plan consumer database is built from random statistically projectable survey research with 40,000 active users of the Internet. The study measured all U.S. Web usage, whether occurring at work, home, school or elsewhere. The research measured site usage, demographics, lifestyle characteristics, and brand and product preferences for selected product categories.

The maximum sampling error for any reported statistic is plus or minus 1.7%, the company said. The data is updated every three months. Interviews with 10,000 new respondents are added to the database and the oldest 10,000 interviews are eliminated.