September 25, 2006, 12:00 AM

56% of Europeans online now shop online, Forrester says

The number of European online shoppers has grown from 42% of Europeans online in 2003 to 56% this year, with large jumps in adoption in Germany, the Netherlands and Italy, according to a new Forrester Research report.

The number of European online shoppers has grown from 42% of Europeans online in 2003 to 56% this year, with large jumps in adoption in Germany, the Netherlands and Italy, according to a new Forrester Research report.

Forrester also found that more than half of all Europeans online have bought something in a shop after researching the product online.

The number of online shoppers is steadily increasing in the seven major Western European markets (France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the U.K.) from 52 million in 2003’s second quarter to 82 million consumers currently, according to Forrester’s “European Consumer Technology Adoption Study Q2 2006 Survey.”

While Northern Europe leads in online shopping, with two-thirds of online consumers buying online, Southern Europe shows the biggest growth-almost doubling to 39% since 2003, Forrester says. Those in Southern Europe also spend a lot online €200 ($256), only €50 ($64) less than experienced shoppers in Northern Europe, according to the report.

Online consumers in the United Kingdom shop online the most-73% had bought something online in the previous three months, Forrester says. But Germany has the largest market-36 million consumers shop online versus 29 million in the U.K.

However, a significant number of online consumers in Europe don’t shop online because they’re concerned about security and because they prefer to see a product before they buy it. More than half of online consumers who are not shopping online said they feared disclosing their financial information, Forrester says.

In addition, 41% of holdouts say they don’t feel any need to shop online, with 60% of Dutch online shopping holdouts listing this as a key issue, according to the report.

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