February 28, 2008, 12:00 AM

Global markets producing sharp rise in online buyers, especially for books and apparel

Books and apparel are the most popular items purchase online in a global retail e-commerce market, where the total number of online consumers has risen 40% over the past two years to 875 million, according to The Nielsen Co.’s Global Online Survey. 85% of Internet users worldwide have made at least one online purchase; South Korea leads in this area with 99% and the U.S. is ranked eighth at 94%.

Books and apparel are the most popular items purchased online in a global retail e-commerce market, where the total number of online consumers has risen 40% over the past two years to 875 million, according to The Nielsen Co.’s Global Online Survey. 85% of Internet users worldwide have made at least one online purchase, Nielsen says.

South Korean leads in the percentage of Internet users who have purchased online, at 99%, followed by the U.K., Germany and Japan, all at 97%. The U.S. is ranked eighth at 94%.

Books lead as the most purchased category, with 41% of survey respondents having purchased a book online within the three months prior to the survey, which Nielsen conducted across 48 markets in October and November 2007. Leading online book markets include China, Brazil, Vietnam and Egypt.

Apparel/accessories/shoes is the fastest-growing category, however, with 36% of respondents having purchased from the category online in the trailing three months, up from 20% two years earlier. 24% of respondents said they had recently bought videos, DVDs or games; 24% cited airline tickets and 23% electronic equipment.

The survey found credit cards the most common way to pay on the Internet, used by 60% of online consumers for their recent purchases.

paul@verticalwebmedia.com

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