February 25, 2002, 12:00 AM

Web shoppers are getting older and buying more often, says new survey

Over-35 shoppers catch up with the number of younger shoppers online, while 5% of shoppers now buy online weekly, up from 1% two years ago. 24% of all consumers shopped online in Q4 2001.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

 

The Internet continues to extend its reach as a mainstream shopping channel, reports the latest survey from New York-based marketing consultants WSL Strategic Retail. WSL’s survey of Internet shoppers over the holiday quarter revealed that 24% of consumers shopped online in Q4, up from 10% in 2000 and 5% in 1998.

Furthermore, the Internet is being used as a shopping channel by a wider array of demographics groups. A virtually equal percentage of 18- to 34-year-olds, 29%, and 35- to 54-year-olds, 27%, shop the Internet. “The 35-plus population continues to catch up to younger consumers shopping via the Internet,” says Candace Corlett, senior partner at WSL. “Consumers 35 and over reported increases in shopping through the Internet at much higher levels than younger consumers and we expect parity to be reached soon.”

The Internet also was the only sales channel in the survey to report an increase in weekly shopping, with 5% of shoppers now buying online on a weekly basis versus only1% In 2002. The web channel also appears to be gaining market share among consumers at the expense of catalogs, though catalogs still have a greater share. The percentage of consumers shopping catalogs has declined steadily, from 44% in 1998 to 42% two years later and 35% this year.

 

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