Experienced Net Surfers Get Busier Shopping Online

Mar 05, 2002

Two reports set for release present complementary reasons that now might not
be such a bad time to be an e-tailer, reports the New York Times. First,
as Internet users accrue one to three years of experience online, they become
much more likely to shop or conduct other financial-related activities on the
Web, according to a report by the nonprofit Pew Internet and American Life Project.
So although the spike in new Internet users in the late ’90s has long passed,
many of those users are only now joining the world of online shopping

The second report comes from online research and consulting firm Jupiter Media Metrix. It suggests that as online users become more comfortable with the idea of shopping, the Internet shopping population will not only grow briskly, but will reflect offline demographics much more closely than today. That should give a lift to mass-market online retailers who cater to older people. Jupiter predicts that the number of online shoppers, which it says now number 67 million, will grow to 132 million over the next four years. The number of Internet users, meanwhile, “will only show single digit annual growth” over that period, Ken Cassar, author of the Jupiter report says.

Moderator Comment: What have retailers learned from
the demise of so many dot-com ventures?

  • You can’t be all things to all people. Online shopping
    is a personal experience.
  • You shouldn’t spend more to attract a consumer than
    they will spend with you.
  • Price may not be paramount but it is important.
  • Keep overhead low.
  • You need to deliver because if you screw up, consumers
    have elsewhere to go.
  • The object of business is to make money.

Anderson – Moderator

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