August 18, 2010, 12:39 PM

South Korean and Japanese consumers lead the world in web purchases

Forrester survey shows that U.S. and Canadian consumers spend a lot, but buy less often.

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Nearly every online consumer in South Korea and Japan regularly makes web purchases, while less than two-thirds of U.S. consumers do so, suggest survey data from Forrester Research Inc.

Forrester based the findings on surveys conducted in 2009 of 60,000 online consumers across Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. The survey findings provide evidence of continuous growth in global online shopping, Forrester says. But consumers in some countries are far more loyal to the online shopping channel.

93% of online consumers in South Korea report buying retail products and services online within the three months prior to the survey. 89% of Japanese online consumers said the same.

Online consumers from European countries and Australia made up the second tier, with Sweden at 77%, the United Kingdom at 75%, the Netherlands and Germany at 71% and Australia at 70%. Next up was the United States, at 63%, followed by France at 56%, Canada at 46% and Poland at 37%. 37% of consumers from urban China reported online purchases within the last three months, followed by Spain at 31%, Italy at 20%, Hong Kong at 18% and urban India at 7%.

Consumers in South Korea also lead in online spending amounts, with survey respondents spending an average of $725 over the three months prior to the survey. But while Canadian consumers seem less likely to make web purchases than consumers in many other parts of the world, Canadians come in second for average online spending, at $642. U.S. consumers took the third spot, with $564. Bringing up the rear were Polish online consumers, with $160.

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