Almost one-third of Australians will be online shoppers in the next six months, according to a global e-commerce survey.
Compared with IDC research earlier this year that said that only one million Australians are online shoppers, results from Taylor Nelson Sofres Interactive show that Australia is second only to Norway (37 per cent) with consumers most likely to shop online.
The Global E-Commerce Report: April-June 2000 was based on 30,000 interviews across 27 countries. The report is believed to be a world first on global online shopping trends.
According to the report, 10 per cent of Australian internet users bought or ordered goods online each month, ranking Australia a middle-tier country in uptake.
Of this group, three out of 10 users purchased books, while one in five bought CDs.
Australians between 18 and 24 did the most online shopping, according to Rob Keller, director of IT and telecommunications at Taylor Nelson Sofres Australia.
One-fifth of Australian users were "online drop-outs" who had considered purchasing online, but eventually didn't due to concerns with security, the inconvenience of fiddly or "unfriendly" sites, information overload, and scepticism over e-tailers' ability to deliver.
Eighteen per cent of Australian internet users were "offline shoppers" who used the internet for comparative shopping, comparing prices on goods like cars and clothing for instance, that they would then purchase outside the internet, Keller said.
Worldwide, Australia sat among the top five countries with online purchases of food and groceries, toiletries and cosmetics, hardware and software, furniture and business travel. Keller attributed the trend to the user-friendliness of sites and cheaper outlay.
Countries with high internet penetration, where more than 40 per cent of the adult population are users, include the US, Australia, Hong Kong, Norway and Denmark.
Still, Keller believed the internet was "relatively new" to Australia. "It's a tidal wave that only really took off here in 1995," he said.