The pre-Christmas period was the most successful to date for for e-commerce in the UK, with 8.4 million adults shopping online – a growth rate of 52 per cent on December 2001.
The figures from NOP World show a continuation of the upward trend NOP reported in June 2002. The 8.4 million estimated in December is equivalent to 43 per cent of all regular Web users in the UK and shows the growing strength of the internet as a mainstream shopping channel.
December’s online sales run into the billions (NOP estimates &£1.5bn), with the average shopper buying a mix of lowand high-priced items, including books and clothes, electrical white goods, DVDs, CDs and toys.
NOP World research manager Carl Geraghty says: “Although there is some seasonality in the latest figures, strong growth since December 2001, which continued through June, proves that for many Britons online shopping is not just for Christmas. Users are more comfortable with the online experience and reap the benefits of convenience as well as feeling the benefit in their wallet.”
Geraghty adds: “For some product sectors, the internet has become the main way that consumers buy goods in an average month. Moreover, the average user expects to at least double their online spend over the coming year.”
NOP screened a nationally representative sample of 30,000 adults aged over 15, surveying their internet usage during November 2002. This was followed up by 1,600 interviews in December.
NOP’s Top Ten Online Purchases
2 Music CDs
4 Pre-recorded DVDs
6 Electrical ‘brown’ goods
7 Computer products, accessories
10 Holidays, travel