January 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

Study confirms bulk of Net users are Net shoppers

Echoing earlier findings, a survey by Greenfield Online and Parade magazine shows that 85% of Internet users have become online shoppers, and most are baby boomers aged 35-54. The average age is 42. Men still have a slight edge, making up 55% of Internet shoppers.

"Middle America is driving e-commerce, not some digital elite,'' says Parade technology editor Lamar Graham.

In other findings, 78% of respondents who have bought online made their first purchase in the last two years; four in 10 have purchased from five or more Web sites; more than half have made five or more purchases within the last six months; and more than 30% have spent $500 or more online in that time.

Consistent with other surveys, shoppers mainly are attracted to to the convenience of Internet purchasing, identifying off-hours shopping, saved trips, access to distant retailer and lack of pressure from sales clerks are the biggest benefits. More than have are inclined to see Internet shopping as secure.

The survey was conducted by Greenfield Online among a sample of 1,350 nationally representative Internet users age 18 and older.

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