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Study shows record Net shopping

A new survey by Nielsen Media shows that more people than ever before are logging on to the Net and doing their shopping there.

A new survey by Nielsen Media shows that more people than ever before are logging on to the Net and doing their shopping there.

As if to underscore the point, Nielsen issued a separate statement saying that it too is jumping into the e-commerce realm--by selling its survey results online.

According to Nielsen, the number of Netizens older than 16 in the United States and Canada reached 79 million as of June. That's a 36 percent increase over last year, when a survey showed 58 million users online.



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Perhaps even more tantalizing to the thousands of businesses trying their hand at e-commerce, 20 million of the 79 million are buying products and services. And still more people were using the Net to shop around.

"The Internet continues its impressive growth as a communications, research, entertainment, and commercial medium," Jerome Samson, director of technology and business strategy at Nielsen, said in a statement.

Samson said that, based on the statistics, the number of Netizens grew at a rate of 2.5 percent a month from January 1997 through June 1998.

When it came to e-commerce, the numbers grew at 3.5 percent a month from January 1997 through September 1997. And from September through June this year, the growth in online buyers accelerated 8 percent a month.

Among other highlights in the report:

  • More than half of the population between 16 and 34 are Net users.

  • Seventeen percent of people 50 and older are Net users, and the rate of people in that category is growing at about the same pace as the overall online population.

  • About 43 percent of Net users are female and 57 percent male.

  • Most of the shoppers (64 percent) and buyers (71 percent) online are men.

    For those who want to get more information, Nielsen is making it easy by selling the study online for $5,000 through business intelligence tools from Cognos.