Blue-collar surfers ‘fastest growing’ area

Internet usage by blue-collar and manual workers has almost doubled over the past year, making this the fastest growing group online, according to new research from Forrester.

Of all C2Ds in the UK, 15 per cent now use the Internet regularly, catching up to the 39 per cent of ABC1s online. But the latter group still dominates, comprising 74 per cent of Internet users, compared with 24 per cent from the C2D group.

The typical UK Internet user is male (61 per cent of UK Web users), 35 years old, lives in London (22 per cent of UK Web users) and has an average annual income of &£22,000 (net after tax). He lives in a home bought on a mortgage (45 per cent) and is likely to have a degree or postgraduate qualification (33 per cent).

The Web is having an appreciable impact on UK consumer behaviour, with 89 per cent of polled users having investigated goods and services online.

Half of UK users have looked into buying CDs, music, videos and DVDs online, but relatively few (38 per cent) have purchased anything online. The most common item bought is a book – by 44 per cent of UK online shoppers.

The Web is also making an impact on offline behaviour, Forrester notes. Thirty-nine per cent of Net users say they watch less TV since going online, and 25 per cent watch fewer videos.

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