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E-Commerce as a Way of Life

  |  February 13, 2003   |  Comments

A study on Internet usage finds that nearly two-thirds of all Internet users have purchased a product or service online as the Web becomes increasingly pervasive.

Internet usage as a part of people's everyday lives is increasingly pervasive around the world, says a study, and e-commerce is more than ever a part of life online.

Almost two-thirds (62 percent) of Internet users have by now purchased a product or service online, according to "The Face of the Web," an annual study of Internet trends by marketing research firm Ipsos-Reid in New York City, a U.S.-based division of Ipsos.

That's up dramatically from 36 percent of respondents in 2000. Other key stats from the study:

  • The United States leads the world in Internet usage, with 72 percent of American adults having gone online at least once in the previous 30 days. Canada was second, at 62 percent
  • 44 percent of those polled in the global study report having downloaded a music file
  • 38 percent have played a video game online
  • 37 percent conducted an online financial transaction
  • 24 percent have burned a CD of digital music files downloaded off the Internet

In 2002, 54 percent of the total population in the 12 countries surveyed indicated that they had, at some time, used the Internet. Interestingly, urban Russia was the lowest on the list, with only 8 percent having used the net recently when surveyed.

The Internet has become a medium for more than just surfing for information, said Brian Cruikshank, an author of the study and leader of the company's U.S. technology practice. Increasingly, it is becoming part of daily life, and not just for IT workers and tech-head teens.

Cruikshank said that two markets in particular stand out: the United States, where 77 percent of Internet users have bought a product or service online, and the United Kingdom, where 68 percent have purchased online.

Online banking has also experienced a dramatic increase between 2000 and 2002, almost doubling to 37 percent from 20 percent, the study found. Online banking is most prevalent in Canada, the U.K., Germany and the U.S., where more than 40 percent of Internet users had banked online.

"The Internet is in advanced stages of growth in the U.S. and is becoming a necessity (even) to many of the few adult Americans who had resisted going online before," said Cruikshank. "Because it's all around us, being used in so many ways-from communications to transactions to entertainment-it's become a central way that we navigate our lives,"

The international survey research data was collected via Ipsos's Global Express, a quarterly international survey.

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