Internet shoppers: who are they?

Whether or not people buy products via the Internet depends on their age, sex and income. Households with a high income and a young male breadwinner are most likely to shop electronically. These characteristics are the main determinants for whether people with access to the Internet use it to buy products.

E-shopping by people on the Internet by age of main breadwinner, 2001

Educational level determines pc-ownership and Internet access

Whether or not there is a pc in the household depends mainly on the educational level of the household’s main earner, although the presence of children increases the chance of a pc in the home. Internet access is also dependent on the educational level of the main earner.

E-shoppers often younger men

The households most likely to shop electronically are those where the main earner is a man aged between 25 and 34 years: more than a quarter of such households bought products via the Internet in 2001. The likelihood of e-shopping diminishes as the age of the breadwinner rises.

E-shopping by households on the Internet by level of household income, 2001

Influence of household income

The higher a household’s income, the more likely it will shop on the Internet. More than 20 percent of Internet users in the three highest income brackets bought products via the Internet.

Objections to electronic shopping

Objections to e-shopping

In addition to education and age, there are other reasons why some people shop electronically and others don’t. Many people who use the Internet don’t feel the need to shop on the Internet. Others mentioned they did not think it was safe, or did not trust the suppliers.

Vincent Fructuoso van der Veen