RealTime IT News

Latest Survey Reveals Evolution of Australian Net Users

The average Australian Web user is 34 years old, male, works in IT, spends less time watching TV and more time shopping at Web malls, according to the latest results of the fifth Australian Online User Report.

More than 19,000 Internet users were surveyed by Australian Internet and e-commerce research group www.consult during June, in what has become the largest research series on Australian online activity.

The group reported greater use of the Internet for business with 20 percent of users identifying business as their primary use of the Internet. IT professionals remain the largest group of professional users of the Web (at 12 percent of regular users), while email is still the primary use of the Internet for Australians (24 percent of those surveyed).

The gender gap between regular Internet users is also closing--last December the division was roughly 80-20 in favour of males, but this survey found that has evened slightly to be 72 percent male to 28 percent female. The median age of these users is 34.

The survey also found that Australians' Internet use is impacting on other media. Fifty seven percent of all Internet users now watch less television, while 30 percent spend less time on the telephone. Online shopping is growing, with 25 percent of Internet users shopping online more than once. Sixteen percent have used the Internet to support a buying decision.

The survey revealed that even though more users try online shopping, they remain concerned about the security of their financial transactions. Twenty two percent of users identified security as their main concern, equaling concerns about the cost of Internet access.

"It's difficult to understand why this is the case," said www.consult principal Ramon Marzbani, when accounting for the high levels of concern surrounding online financial transactions. "It's probably a function of the fact that more people are using the Internet, and that it's not always possible to complete a sale on smaller foreign sites."

Mr Marzbani added that if sites requested the user's State of residence and only included American entries, it may reduce their comfort zone about the security of their information if the site does not cater to Australian users.