Global research says Aussies to shop online in droves

The Global E-Commerce Report: April-June 2000 was based on 30,000 interviews across 27 countries. The report is believed to be a world-first on global online shopping trends.

According to the report, 10 percent of Australian internet-users bought or ordered goods online during a month, ranking Australia a middle-tier country in uptake.

Of this group, three out of ten users purchased books, while one in five bought CDs.

Australians between 18 and 24 did the most online shopping, according to Rob Keller, director of IT and telecommunications at Taylor Nelson Sofres Australia.

One fifth of Australian users were "online drop-outs" who had considered purchasing online, but had not due to concerns around security, the inconvenience of fiddly or "unfriendly" sites, information overload, and scepticism over e-tailers' ability to deliver.

18 per cent of Australian Internet users were "offline shoppers" who used the Internet for comparative shopping, comparing prices on goods like cars and clothing, for instance, which they would purchase outside the Internet, said Keller.

Worldwide, Australia sat amongst the top 5 countries with online purchasers of food and groceries, toiletries and cosmetics, PC hardware and software and furniture and business travel. Keller attributed the trend to the user-friendliness of sites and cheaper outlay.

Countries with high Internet penetration included the US, Australia, Hong Kong, Norway and Denmark where more than 40 per cent of the adult population were users.

Still, Keller believed the Internet was "relatively new" to Australia. "It's a tidal wave that only really took off here in 1995," he said.