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  • ACNielsen has published a new study saying that one-tenth of the world’s population – or some 627 million people – have shopped online. More than half that number of people (325 million people) shopped online just last month.

    What did they buy?

    • More than 212 million online shoppers mention books as among the last 3 items they purchased online

    • More than 135 million people purchased DVDs and/or video games;

    • Close to 135 million made plane reservations;

    • More than 128 million purchased articles of clothing/accessories/shoes;

    • In excess of 112 million paid for music downloads and/or CDs;

    • More than 106 million purchased electronic devices (including cameras, etc);

    • Close to 98 million bought computer hardware; and

    • More than 86 million made hotel and/or tour bookings.

    Europe and North America (both at 85%) have the highest incidence of online shoppers. Germany, Austria and the UK top the list, with at least 95 percent of Internet users having purchased online. In the US, 89 percent have made an online purchase.

    The world's most frequent online shoppers are in the UK and Germany, averaging seven and six purchases respectively in the past month. As a region, online shoppers in Europe made an average of five purchases in the last month. In fact, most of the markets in Europe display higher average purchases than North America, where U.S. shoppers made four purchases in the past month and Canadian shoppers made five.

    In Asia Pacific, the average number of purchases in the past month is five. South Korea, despite its high proportion of online shoppers, generated an average of only four purchases last month.

    It is Latin America that registers the lowest past month purchasing, with an average of only three purchases.

    "Our recent e-commerce studies clearly show an upward trend in global online shopping," said David Boyd, vice president of Internet Industry Research at ACNielsen. "While there is growth in nearly all global markets, the lesser developed markets are maturing faster than many of their more developed counterparts. It will not be long before we have a nearly level playing field across the globe."

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