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Over half the adult population now shop online

The popularity of online shopping is continuing to grow rapidly, with the majority of the British population aged 15+ shopping online.

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Over half the adult population now shop online

The 50% benchmark was achieved for the very first time in February 2010 (50.6%), while March saw further growth in the number of online shoppers to 51%.

This most significant achievement for the youngest sector of the Retail Industry has been marked by the release by the IMRG of their first detailed Report analysing the Customer Base for e-commerce.  The Report has been prepared for IMRG by The British Population Survey (BPS)

BPS conducts over 80,000 face-to-face in-home interviews each year with an accurate cross-section of the entire adult population.  The report concentrates on the first quarter of 2010 to provide a detailed national view of those who are internet shoppers, who and where they are, how they access the internet, and how they search for products and shop online.

BPS and IMRG will be introducing “The e-Shopper Index” to regularly track the percentage of the UK adults who shop online.  The Index already reveals that an additional 3.7 million people have become online shoppers during the past two years alone.

James Roper, Chief Executive of IMRG comments:“This first British Population Survey E-Shopping Report provides vital new insight into online consumers, whose demand for shopping is the real driver of the e-retail phenomenon.  It is only ten years since the very first consumer broadband connection was made available – just days after the dotcom bubble burst and most of the business world concluded that e-retail was hype and finished - since when the value of UK online shopping had grown more than 6,000 percent.  This huge growth is due almost entirely to consumers’ eagerness to embrace the convenience, choice and savings that e-retail offers them, yet relatively little detailed information about them has been available until now in terms of how their age, regional location and social demographic influences their behaviour.  The BPS provides a wonderful new window on the world of e-commerce.”

Mike Hare, Research Director of The British Population Survey, adds “Recent technology developments, particularly in the area of ‘roaming’ access via both laptops and hand held devices, are clearly playing a part in the development of the availability and convenience of Online Shopping services.  This has been particularly evidenced by an increase in laptop ownership from 34.15% of households in March 2008 to 53.03% in March 2010”

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