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Study: Home Shoppers to Spend $54 Billion by 2002

Residential Internet users will make over $54 billion in electronic commerce-based purchases by the year 2002, up from $4.3 billion in 1997, according to a joint Web trends study conducted by International Data Corp. (IDC) and RelevantKnowledge, Inc.

The Web Usage Trends 1998 report forecasts that the number of home Netizens will surge from approximately 30 million to 102 million in 2002, with the percentage of those users making e-commerce purchases increasing from 36% to 50%.

Among the study's demographic findings for the First Quarter of '98:

  • 56% of the Web population is male; men make up only 48% of the U.S. population;
  • males most likely to be on the Net fall into the 18-34 age group;
  • men's least-represented age group online is 50+;
  • women account for 63% of visitors to communication sites;
  • women represent 60% of visitors to home and living sites;
  • men 50+ make up 63% of the total traffic to commerce and classified/auction sites;
  • 23% of online adult entertainment visitors earn $75,000+;
  • 25% of e-commerce site users make $75,000; 23% of this group are college educated;
  • software is the most popular e-tail purchase.

"Over time, we predict greater proportions of both males and females on the Web in the 50+ category as they turn to the Internet for health and medical information and in the longer term, for bill presentment and payment services," said Jill Frankle, program manager of IDC's Consumer Internet program. "This age group may also be coming online via non-PC devices, either in the form of NC devices such as WebTV or via digital cable set-top boxes."

"Understanding the demographic distribution of visitors to different Web sites will make the difference in deciding where to spend Web advertising dollars," added Lisa Sharkis, director of product research, RelevantKnowledge, Inc.

A joint study from IDC and RelevantKnowledge, Web Usage Trends, 1998 considers Web user population, top Web sites, usage patterns, behavior, and demographic profiles of different users, according to the companies.