A new study from ACNielsen Europe suggests that only about 10 percent of the world’s population (more than 627 million people) has shopped online at least once. Books appear to be the most commonly purchased item (thank you, Jeff Bezos) followed closely by DVDs. It’s no surprise that first world countries would have the most online shoppers. What is a surprise is that the study ranks the US eleventh with "only" 89 percent of those surveyed saying that they had bought online. In Germany, Austria and the UK, the tally was more than 95 percent.
ACNielsen does not say how it publicized the poll or invited participants. If the survey is along the lines of the old Georgia Tech studies (from the mid-90s), the "self-selecting" nature of the pool would skew its results. Nevertheless, ACNielsen is using these data to project to the global population at large. The lead graph of the press release is very misleading, because it suggests that ACNielsen actually talked to hundreds of millions of consumers.
Nevertheless, this quote is relevant: "One in ten of the world’s population shopping online is not enough to
ensure successful online sales," warns Klaas Hommez, Vice President of
Consumer Products Group ACNielsen. "It is still very important for both small
and large retailers to understand the triggers that drive Brand Equity and
site usage in their category. Our studies consistently show that websites and
brands with higher Brand Equity attract higher traffic and sales."
The online poll included more than than 21,000 respondents in 38 markets from Europe,
Asia Pacific, North America, Latin America and South Africa.
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