Purchasing has emerged as the fastest-growing online activity, as the e-commerce category becomes central to the Internet consumer experience, according to a study released today by America Online and Roper Starch Worldwide, a consultancy and marketing research company. The second annual AOL/Roper Starch Cyberstudy, a survey of approximately 1,000 adult Americans who use online or Internet services from home, found that 42% of Internet consumers say they regularly or occasionally make a purchase online, compared to 31% in the 1998 study--an increase of one-third. That increase was fueled in part by 54% more women--37% compared to 24% in 1998--shopping online this year. The study also found that Internet users connected three years or longer engage in more everyday activities online--such as product information research, booking travel or trading stocks--than those online a year or less. More than half of users say they have moved furniture to accommodate using their household computer.
Copyright November 1999, Crain Communications Inc.