Yahoo, ACNielsen Declare E-Commerce Strong and Healthy

The debut of the Yahoo/ACNielsen Internet Confidence Index, which is designed to measure consumer confidence in e-commerce services, found that consumers plan on spending nearly $10 billion online in the next three months.

The index measures consumers’ overall confidence in e-commerce, reflecting their attitudes toward motivators and barriers to e-commerce, as well as intended purchasing behavior. According to the findings, 42 percent of U.S. Internet users intend to purchase online in the next three months, and they will spend an estimated $9.9 billion on the Web during that period of time.

More than 60 percent of those intending to purchase online during the next three months said they would purchase once a month or more frequently. Among previous online purchasers, 68 percent intend to purchase over the next three months. On average, the index expects purchasers will spend an estimated $184 each during the same time period.

Planned E-Commerce
Spending & Frequency

In next three months
$1 to $50 31%
$51 to $100 24%
$101 to $200 14%
$201 to $500 18%
more than $500 12%
Once a week or more 11%
Every two or
three weeks
Once a month 33%
Every two months 14%
Every three months 20%
Less often 4%
Source: Yahoo/ACNielsen

“One of the more striking findings of the index is the substantial dollar amount of e-commerce that is expected to be transacted during the next three months,” said Travyn Rhall, ACNielsen’s managing director of international research. “Despite industry consolidation and a changing business landscape, the index clearly demonstrates the public’s continued confidence in making purchases over the Web.”

According to the study, the main motivators driving online purchasing are the ability to get a wide array of product information, the ability to compare prices and product selection. Consumers rated comfort with using a credit card and disclosure of personal information as the biggest barriers, but also revealed that they are relatively confident that the goods they order online will be delivered properly. Somewhat surprisingly, convenience does not appear to be a significant motivator to online shopping, and consumers are less confident in their ability to find better prices.

Overall confidence among heavy (daily) Internet users is driven by higher confidence in online credit card use, convenience, availability of information and proper delivery of goods, as well as the ability to compare prices. Men and women indexed similarly in most attributes, but men have more confidence they will find lower prices online.

Attitudes toward e-commerce among different age groups were primarily driven by product selection, comfort with online credit card use and customer service. Not surprisingly, the youngest age group surveyed, 18 to 24, displayed higher confidence in these areas. Regionally, Internet users in the northeast exhibited a higher confidence in e-commerce overall, especially in regard to delivery of goods purchased, price comparison tools and the ability to find better prices online.

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