Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Europeans Buy More Online  


The Old World takes to new ways.

Europeans have long been avid online shoppers, but according to the "Mediascope Europe 2006 Study," sponsored by the European Interactive Advertising Association (EIAA) with research conducted by Synovate, now they are becoming online buyers.

The study found that currently 78% of European Internet users shop online. They spend an average of Eur750 and buy 10 items online over six months — which represents an increase of 11% year over year.

Online Spending and Purchases by Internet Users in Select Countries in Western Europe, September 2006 (average)

Comparing the different countries, online shoppers in the UK and Scandinavia spend and buy the most goods online, while Germans are online bargain seekers, buying a higher number of items at a lower cost.

Increasingly, however, savvy online shoppers throughout Europe are also using price comparison sites to help themselves find deals. Dutch online shoppers are the biggest bargain hunters, with more than half (54%) checking comparable costs online at least once a month; the Germans (50%) and the French (50%) are hot on their heels.

Auction sites are popular with online shoppers in Germany, as well as in the UK, with 62% and 49% of the users in those countries, respectively, visiting them at least once a month, compared with the European online average of 41%.

What are Europeans shopping for online? Mobile phones top the list.

The research shows that mobile phones had the largest growth in conversion rates year over year, growing at 23%, followed by music downloads, car accessories and home furnishings.

Leading Products and Services in Western Europe, by Online Sales Conversion Rate Growth, September 2005 & September 2006 (% of online shoppers who purchase online and % increase vs. prior year)

"As consumers further embrace their digital lifestyles, they are becoming more ambitious in what they choose to buy over the Internet as well as how much they spend," said Michael Kleindl of the EIAA. "More money spent and items bought online shows that consumers are integrating online shopping into their daily lives."

For information on European trends, read eMarketer's Europe Online Advertising: Spend, Trends and Audience report.

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