Online Shopping Around The World: How We Spend Our Money Online [Infographic]

Written by Sean Mc on March 15, 2011

Spending on the internet; we all do it, whether it is a case of wanting to avoid visiting crowded shops, not having the time for shopping, or simply believing that your money goes further online with far more choice. In recent years, the internet has transformed our lives, especially in the ways we shop for goods and services.

In order to find out more about the way consumers shop online, the global information and measurement company, Nielsen Company conducted a survey last year, polling over 27,000 internet users in 55 markets from Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East, North America and South America. Their research looked into what people intend to buy, how they use various sites, the impact of social media and other factors that affect how people decide to spend their money. Their research found that there are some products bought online that are universal, while others still have yet to build a significant share of trade.

How We Spend Our Money Online (Click to Enlarge)

Online Shopping Around The World - How We Spend Our Money Online

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Going into their research, they found that while checking online reviews are popular for some products like consumer electronics and cars, most shoppers still trust the recommendations of friends and family overall. They found that 57 percent of online respondents consider reviews prior to buying, with reviews on cars and software ranking as the most important. Consumers in the Asia Pacific with 49 percent found reviews are most valuable, while just 32 percent of consumers in Europe consider reviews prior to making a purchase.

Globally, one-third of online consumers say they primarily do their internet shopping at retailers that have only an online presence, followed by an equal 20 percent of respondents who prefer sites that also have traditional “brick and mortar” stores and those that allow you to select products from many different online stores, the report quotes. Of the global respondents, only 16 percent indicated that they have never shopped online.

The results found that site preferences vary across the world – half of North Americans said they most frequently purchase from online-only stores, while one-third of Latin Americans prefer sites that also have traditional offline stores. While 47 percent of online consumers in the Middle East, Africa and Pakistan say they have never shopped online.

So what about in the near future, what are people intending to buy? It was found that consumers say that books (44 percent) and clothing (36 percent) will continue to top the list for planned purchases, while electronic equipment also factored in (27 percent). But, other plans show that the economy is showing signs of improvement as many planned to purchase airline tickets (32 percent), and book tours and reserve hotels (26 percent). In 2009 24 percent of connected consumers said they purchased airline tickets online and 17 percent made hotel / tour reservations via the internet, showing intent to make travel arrangements online increased in 2010.

So when we look at East vs West in terms of how much monthly spending is made online, it was found that in the East that 40 percent of people spend less than five percent compared to the West where 51 percent of people spend the same amount. In the middle, spending between 11 and 25 percent, the East was found to have 19 percent of people, while the West had 14 percent. Finally, if we look at those who spend more than 75 percent of their money online per month, both evened out and had just one percent.

The internet has become a valuable part of our lives, and this research just shows that it is making more and more of an impact on the way we make our purchases. But despite the growth of the internet, many people still look to websites that have the presence on our streets showing that they are still looking for an element of security and familiarity in their online shopping.

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