[Sydney, AUSTRALIA] Australians rank fifth worldwide in terms of Internet use, with 45
percent penetration, but lag behind in online shopping, with 10 percent of Internet users
shopping online, according to research from Taylor Nelson Sofres.
Of the countries surveyed in the U.S., Europe and Asia, Australia was found to be second only
to Norway in terms of potential Internet shoppers, with 29 percent of the population
equipped to shop online. Not surprisingly, the U.S., with the highest proportion of Internet
users (58 percent of the population), also has the largest percentage of online shoppers.
More than a quarter of Internet users in the U.S. shop online, as opposed to less than one
percent in Thailand and Turkey.
Globally, traditional e-commerce purchases like books and CDs are still dominant, with three in
ten users who have shopped online buying books and one in five purchasing music. Australian
users’ tastes have diversified, however, and they are now among the top five online
purchasers of food and groceries, toiletries and cosmetics, PC hardware and software,
furniture and business travel.
Concerns about security and the ability of e-commerce sites to deliver are still
significant roadblocks for Australian Internet users. The study labeled 20 percent of
Australian Internet users as “online dropouts” – people who have considered purchasing
online but haven’t. This wariness was reflected in an 18 percent figure for
“offline shoppers” – users who have bought or ordered goods and services outside the
Internet as a result of information found while surfing.