Nearly one in five Internet users in the UK have made an online purchase in the last six months, according to research by BMRB International.
BMRB’s research found that 1.9 million Internet users made an online purchase in the last six months, an increase of 600,000 users from December of 1998. More than three-quarters of those making an online purchase are classified as home Internet users, according to BMRB.
BMRB has used Factor Analysis to divide UK Internet shoppers into six segments, Realistic Enthusiasts, Confident Brand Shoppers, Carefree Spenders, Cautious Shoppers, Bargain Hunters, and Unfulfilled.
- Realistic Enthusiasts
This group accounts for 15 percent of the market and is characterized by an enthusiastic approach toward e-commerce. Examples of this include a willingness to use the Internet for purchases in excess of £500, they are prepared to purchase products from an unknown company and consider the convenience of Internet shopping to be more important than price. However, their enthusiasm is layered with a realistic approach to e-commerce. This is evidenced by the fact that they would like to see the product in real life before making a purchase and they also consider that finding the product to purchase is a difficult process.
- Confident Brand Shoppers
This group represents 16 percent of the market and is confident about using the Internet for e-commerce. Again members of this group would be happy to use the Internet for the next time they want to make a purchase in excess of £500. This confidence stems from the importance they lay on purchasing well-known brands and the necessity to shop around. This group spent on average £275 in the last six months, which is 20 percent more than the average.
- Carefree Spenders
This group also comprises 15 percent of the market is characterized by a carefree approach to purchasing online. Carefree Spenders are prepared to purchase from unknown companies and do not consider that purchases should be restricted to well-known brands. Furthermore, they are willing to make the purchase without seeing the product first. Carefree Spenders are responsible for almost one-third of online purchasing in the last six months and spent 55 percent more than the average.
- Cautious Shoppers
One in five users fall into this category, which displays a very cautious approach to -e-commerce. These shoppers are not likely to purchase goods through an online auction, have concerns over the quality of products they purchase and would like to see the product prior to making a purchase.
- Bargain Hunters
This group (16 percent of users) is not prepared to spend more than £50 over the Internet, would buy from an unknown company or any Web site as long as it was the cheapest and is driven not by the convenience of the medium but by price.
This group comprises, which comprises 17 percent of users, find the whole concept of online shopping an unfulfilled experience. They find it too difficult to find the products they wish to purchase on the Internet, they would not buy from any Web site or through an auction and they think it takes too long for products purchased online to be delivered.