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Australians buy actively on net

THE two million plus Australians currently using the Internet are some of the world’s most active online buyers.

A study by ActivMedia Re-search titled Real Numbers Behind ’Net Profits 1999, revealed that 3.9% of internet-derived income was derived collectively from Australian and New Zealand users.

This makes us number three worldwide when population is taken into account.

As would be expected, the USA and Canada came in first and second slots, with the UK at number four.

The study, which asked online businesses to identify where they earned their online revenues, stated that: “ While North America, and particularly the US, continues to dominate e-commerce activity, online populations are burgeoning globally (according to research firm NUA ).

Europe now has nearly half as many online users as North America, and the Asia/Pacific Rim countries have nearly a third.”

While the report may indicate that a substantial volume of Australian consumer spending may be going abroad via the Internet, it appears Australian businesses are responding well to the threat.

The ActivMedia report states: “Companies in Australia and New Zealand have plunged heavily into online retail commerce, devoting 64% of their sites to consumer trade”.

In the long term, the report predicts that there will be a shift away from US domination of online trade “as online consumer populations and local businesses expand worldwide.

Once non-US consumers become accustomed to shopping online, you can expect a surge in e-commerce activity, but this time from foreign websites recapturing local audiences from US online merchants”, stated ActivMedia Research’s VP of Market Research Harry Wolhandle.

Meanwhile, local Internet research bureau www.consult have published the most recent breakdown of Australian Inter-net User Populations, which contains some interesting data.

As has been observed in the USA, the Australian user Internet population is getting older – with a third of all users in the 40 to 59 year bracket.

Similarly, female Internet usage is rising and stands at 32%.

However, the bias toward users with higher education seems to persist with over 40% possessing a degree of some description.

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