Internet Shopping Recorded Significant Increases in 2002

In the 85 metro markets surveyed regularly by The Media Audit, the number of those making five or more purchases on the Internet during the past year increased by more than four million.

The 85 metro markets surveyed have a collective population of 131,147,000. The survey results are based on 25,552 respondents who made five or more purchases on the Internet during the previous 12 months. The respondents were from a total sample of 120,753 adults, age 18 plus. Although not a national survey, The Media Audit's aggregated totals for 85 markets traditionally track national data.

Those who made five or more purchases on the Internet increased from 19.7 to 22.5% of those surveyed. The actual number of households making five or more online purchases increased from 25.2 million to 29.6 million.

"The dot com bust, corporate scandals and a sluggish economy seem to have had no impact on Internet shopping," says Bob Jordan, co-chairman of International Demographics, Inc., a 32-year-old market research firm which produces The Media Audit.

There are, says Jordan, very large variations in percentages from market to market. "More than 30% of the households in Washington, D.C., Ann Arbor and Boston made five or more purchases on the Internet," he says, " while less that 20 percent did the same in 37 of the markets we survey."

The 10 metro markets with the largest percentages of "five plus" Internet shoppers are: Washington, D.C., 32.8; Ann Arbor, 31.1; Boston, 30.3; San Jose, 29.5; Austin, 29.4; San Francisco, 28.4; Atlanta, 27.4; Madison, 27.4; Seattle-Tacoma, 27.3; and Allentown-Bethlehem, 26.8; Denver, 26.7. (11 markets are listed in the "top ten" because Atlanta and Madison had identical percentages.)

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