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Internet, leisure time and ecommerce

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Monday January 19, 2009 )

A recent survey by TNS has found an increasing amount of our leisure time is spent online.

The survey of over 27,000 18 to 55 year olds conducted online across 16 countries found that 28% of people who work full time spend at least 30% of their leisure time online – and that’s at the low end of the scale. 39% of students are spending 40% of their leisure time in online pursuits.

Almost a quarter of respondents rated the internet at 10 out of 10 for importance in their personal life and 56% of people rated it as 8 or above in importance. The average across all people surveyed in all countries was 7.5.

As an indicator of how important the Internet has become in our lives, 2 out of 5 people believe if it were suddenly non-existent, such a situation would have a substantial impact for both work life and personal life. More people in China feel they would be affected – with 62% saying the situation would have a substantial effect on their personal activities, compared with only 15% in Finland.

While only 6% see the Internet as a commercial vehicle for companies and products to promote themselves, 25% see it as a market place for buying and selling.

The top 5 online activities of respondents were:

81% – used a search engine to find information
76% – looked up the news
74% – used online banking
65% – looked up the weather
63% – researched a product or service before buying it

57% had purchased something on the internet in the last 4 weeks and 28% had made purchases as a result of finding information on the internet during the same time frame.

As an indicator of how much things have changed, a similar survey carried out by TNS in 2002 found only 15% of the 37 countries surveyed stated they had made a purchase online in the previous 4 weeks. Back then, even in the USA, the home of ecommerce, only 32% were purchasing on the internet.

As for the reasons that some are still resistant to online shopping, the major concern was still security; with 18% giving this as a primary reason.


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