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Internet usage survey results

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Sunday January 27, 2008 )

The Digital Future Project surveys more than 2,000 US adults annually, contacting the same households to explore how the online affects the lives of Internet users and non-users. There’s some interesting statistics in this year’s survey in relation to ecommerce and dialup access.

This year’s survey has found sixty percent of Internet users age 18 and older bought online and spent under $100 a month, a substantial increase over 2006 and the average number of annual online purchases has increased to over 36 purchases per year.

Online shopping is continuing to impact on bricks and mortar sales with 67% stating that Web purchasing reduced their local retail purchasing somewhat or a lot.

Privacy and security in an online shopping environment continue to be major issues, with almost all respondents have reported concerns, this was the highest rate since the first year of the Digital Future Project.

Overall level of concern about credit card security when buying online have stabilized over the four most current years of the study — and at a much lower level than when this issue was first tracked in 2001.

The 10 most popular online purchases are books, clothes, travel arrangements, gifts, CDs, videos, electronic goods, software/games, products for hobbies, and computers/peripherals.

Other findings in relation to Internet users:

– 99 percent said they use e-mail.

– 15% reported they are members of an online community

– 64% agreed that the Internet has become important for political campaigns

– 21% have stopped a subscription for a newspaper or magazine because they now get the same or related content online.

– A higher percentagereported negative views about the reliability and accuracy of information provided by search engines than 2006

– Access to the Internet at home via dialup now represents less than one-quarter of all online access from home

– 21% said that their home page is a search page. Fewer are now using portal pages

That figure relating to dialup is very interesting – I would have expected the numbers to be a lot lower; particularly given dialup access statistics from April last pegged it at around 20%. Whether it’s 10, 15, 20 or 25%, it still represents many millions of users in the USA alone and is well worth bearing in mind when designing your site. Additionally, with wireless mobile access becoming more popular, these users can be disadvantaged by slow connections, making heavy sites a pain to navigate.

As Yoda said: “A frustrated visitor a good client does not make”.

Ok, you’re right – he didn’t say that. Anyhow, you can read more of the 2008 Digital Future Internet Survey Report here (PDF).

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