Study: E-Commerce Fastest-Growing Online Activity

“Making purchases” has emerged as the fastest-growing online activity,
according to a study released by America Online and marketing research firm Roper Starch Worldwide.

In fact, the study found that e-commerce is becoming central to the Internet
consumer experience.

The study is the second annual America Online/Roper Starch Cyberstudy, a
sample of approximately 1,000 adult Americans.

The 1999 Cyberstudy found that shopping scored the most dramatic climb among
Internet activities.

Forty-two percent of Internet consumers say they
regularly or occasionally make a purchase online, compared to 31 percent in
the 1998 study.

That increase was fueled in part by 54 percent more women —
37 percent compared to 24 percent in 1998 — shopping online this year.

The 1999 study found that Internet users connected three years or longer
engage in more everyday activities online than newcomers, those online one
year or less.

These include getting information about and buying products,
checking local entertainment information, booking travel, communicating with
business associates, trading stock, tracking portfolios and banking online.

This year’s survey also demonstrates that Internet consumers are becoming
more mainstream as more older Americans and people of more moderate incomes
and educational backgrounds went online over the past year.

Even with this gradual demographic shift, however, online consumers remain decidedly more
affluent and educated than the population at large. And, just as in 1998,
more women (55 percent) than men (45 percent) this year were new to the
interactive experience.

One of the clearest trends identified in the 1999 Cyberstudy is that the
longer Internet users spend online, the more central the medium becomes to
their everyday lives.

Those online more than three years, for example, report
spending an average of 10.5 hours per week online, compared to 6.6 hours for

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