Internet Confidence Index Rises Slightly
The Yahoo!/ACNielsen Internet Confidence Index measures consumers' attitudes related to potential motivators and barriers to e-commerce, as well as various facets of purchasing behavior within the U.S. The index score for the initial Yahoo!/ACNielsen Internet Confidence Index (June 2001) was set at 100 for use as a baseline, allowing for subsequent survey data to be converted into trended, indexed scores.
Also designed to identify key motivators of consumer behavior the Index found that nearly two-thirds of all online shoppers have booked travel online. Of those participants, 37% said they prefer to book their travel via the Internet because they felt they could find better travel deals online, and 35% stated that the Internet serves as a good research tool for travel-related topics. Travel makes up nearly 25% of e-commerce transactions (NRF/Forrester Online Retail Index, December 2001).
”Successful e-commerce businesses have been able to deliver products and services that truly add value to consumers' lives, making online transactions increasingly essential to our everyday activities,” said Anke Audeneart, director global market research at Yahoo! ”Over the holiday season consumer savvy e-commerce platforms have remained committed to delivering positive online shopping experiences, which in turn have reinforced consumer confidence, as evidenced by the increase in the Index.”
The one point increase in this version of the Index may indicate that the increased confidence from the special October study was not a one-time event; rather, there has been a positive, long-term change in consumers' attitudes. The special October report was conducted to capture any shifts in confidence in the Internet following the September 11 tragedies, and found that Internet confidence dramatically increased nine points since the early September study.
Additionally, since the launch of the Internet Confidence Index in June 2001, the findings have shown that consumers feel more confident about inputting their credit card information online, that they will receive good customer service from the online merchants, and that the items they purchase online will be delivered in time.
The Index indicates that 47% of the survey respondents intend to shop online during the first quarter of 2002, down 13% points from the fourth quarter 2001. The anticipated slow down in frequency of shopping online (attributed to post-holiday sales activity) is mildly offset by the fact that the average dollar spend has increased slightly from $219 in the October study to $226 for the current study.
According to the Index, consumers will spend nearly $15 billion online during the first three months of 2002.
“The increase in average intended spending per Internet user shows that web retailers are becoming more and more accepted as part of the overall consumer shopping experience,” noted Travyn Rhall, managing director at ACNielsen International Research. “It also demonstrates that Internet retailers are building loyal customer bases that are spending more and more money during their visits.”