SEMA eNews Vol. 10, No. 25, June 21, 2007

WHO IS USING THE INTERNET?

Approximately 71% of U.S. consumers are using the Internet today, according to data from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Nearly the same numbers of men versus women are using the Internet, but the age groups that are now going online is skewed toward younger demographics. According to the data, 87% of consumers aged 18–29 use the Internet, but 83% of the consumers aged 30–49, 65% between 50–64 and 32% of those over 65, are now going online. In other words, consumers under 50 years old are typically using the Internet. Specialty-equipment companies could use this to their advantage by simply providing detailed information about their products to help guide consumers towards the right places to actually make their purchases.

The types of consumers going online typically involve those living in urban or suburban areas of the country, with 73% of those living in these areas saying they use the Internet. In addition, more than 80% of those with a household income of $50,000 or more per year use the Internet, while 55% of those earning less than $30,000 per year go online. Eighty-one percent of those who have attended some college use the Internet today.

On a typical day, 41% of Internet users use a search engine to merely find information online, which is the second-most popular online activity next to using e-mail. However, nearly one in five (19%) use the Internet each day to research a product or service before buying it, and a total of 78% of Internet users have reported doing this activity at least once. The number of consumers who have actually made a purchase online only drops to 71%, showing that a majority of the online population rely on the Internet to do their shopping.

Specialty-equipment companies may be at an advantage by creating a blog website for consumers to discuss their products. Research shows that 39% of consumers going online are now reading blogs, possibly looking for what they perceive as unbiased information.

Source: SEMA Research & Information Center