Study: Number of Households Online to Soar to 60%

FRAMINGHAM (03/30/2000) - The number of households connected to the Internet this year will increase to 60 percent, according to a report issued by the Newton, Massachusetts-based Cahners In-Stat Group.

And that's good news for online retailers, said Kate von Goeler, an analyst at Cahners In-Stat Internet Strategies Group.

"The Internet is a mass medium, and a must-have technology," von Goeler said.

"The major use of the Internet is for e-commerce. More people will be shopping online, and even if they don't buy anything, they will use it for research on products - to do comparative shopping."

According to the report, by the end of the year gender will not be a factor in online shopping. Cahners, which surveyed 1,500 U.S. consumers on their home Internet use, predicts that by the close of 2000, 49.1 percent of online consumers will be women.

Cahners also said that online consumers will still be more highly educated than the population at large. According to the report, almost 72 percent of consumers with a graduate school education are currently online, compared with only 26.7 percent of those with a high school education or less.

Cahners also concluded that 40 percent of the population remains resistant to the lures of the World Wide Web. "Internet apathy," the belief that they neither want nor need Internet access, is the primary reason that these consumers choose to remain off-line and shop in traditional brick-and-mortar stores.

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