June 24, 2002, 12:00 AM

Shopping intentions rise with confidence in the Internet, says new index

53% of Internet users plan to shop online with an average spend of $199, compared with 42% who bought online last year with a $184 average spend. Consumers will spend $14 billion in Q3, up 41% over last year, says the Internet Confidence Index.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor


Consumer confidence in the Internet is rising and that will translate into higher sales next quarter, says the latest Internet Confidence Index from Internet company Yahoo Inc. and market researcher ACNielsen. In the third quarter of this year, 53% of Internet users plan to shop online with an average spend per shopper of $199, compared with 42% who bought online last year with a $184 average spend. Consumers will spend $14 billion in Q3, up 41% over last year, the survey reports.

The shopping results were part of a larger survey that shows consumer confidence in the Internet rising 2 points to 113 from Q1 to Q2 this year and 13 points since the survey was instituted a year ago, when the starting baseline was 100.

“The results of the Index indicate a strong rise in consumer confidence and attitudes about the Internet and online shopping, as well as an increased intent to shop and spend more online, pointing to the growing mainstream acceptance and reliance on the Internet as a medium for commerce,” the companies concluded.

Internet users, particularly those using the Internet daily, continue to express the most confidence in the Internet, though confidence among non-Internet users is on the rise, climbing 15 points over the last year. Attitudes about the motivators that drive people to shop online, such as convenience, price comparison and choice are improving, while two of the biggest concerns of a year ago, customer service and delivery of goods, have decreased significantly, Yahoo and Nielsen reported.

"Based on a year`s worth of findings, it is clear that e-commerce and the Internet are becoming more and more a part of American society, both as a mass medium and a standard shopping channel," said Travyn Rhall, managing director, ACNielsen International. "The best example of this mainstream trend is the fact that even those who don`t use the Internet are rapidly gaining confidence in the medium, likely attributable to media exposure and word of mouth."

The Yahoo!/ACNielsen Internet Confidence Index also uncovered several demographic trends including:
--Both college-educated users and those with high school education or below rose 13 points in confidence year over year, although college-educated users are significantly more confident in the Internet (129 vs. 97), and are also more likely to spend substantially more money online ($220 vs. $140 in Q3 2002). This can be attributed to exposure to the Internet at higher learning institutions and careers with regular Internet access.
--Men, generally known to be early adopters of new technology, continue to show slightly more confidence than women (116 vs. 110), and intend to spend more than their female counterparts ($228 vs. $167 in Q3 2002)

ACNielsen, on behalf of Yahoo!, conducts research for the Index through computer-aided telephone interviewing with random digit dialing and uses a sample size audience of 1,000 adults, who may or may not be currently utilizing the Internet.



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