Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Online Shopping Takes Off in HK, Says Nielsen//NetRatings

October 12, 2004 (HONG KONG) -- Nielsen//NetRatings reported that the most popular Hong Kong shopping websites received 20% more visitors in the quarter ending August 2004 compared with the corresponding period a year ago.

An audience of 1.6 million people, representing 50% of all at home Internet users in Hong Kong, hit the shops from behind their computer, bringing visitor growth to online shopping sites beyond the overall at home Internet traffic surge level of 14%.

Figures released from Nielsen//NetRatings' Global Internet Trends survey show users are not just visiting the sites, but they are also buying items. The number of Internet users who have purchased something online grew from 5% a year ago to 14% today.

Yahoo! Auctions is the top ranking online shopping Website and saw its audience increase from 325,000 unique visitors during the quarter ending August 2003 to 753,000 in the same period of 2004. YesAsia.com takes second position and earns itself the most popular mass merchandising site with a 16.5% reach among active Internet users between June and August 2004. Its monthly visitor numbers increased from 91,000 users in August 2002, to 110,000 last year, to 237,000 at the end of August 2004.

Peter Steyn, managing director, Nielsen//NetRatings Hong Kong, said, "Yahoo! Auctions, YesAsia.com and eBay have all experienced phenomenal growth. This shows that Internet users have more faith in Internet security for online payments. They have started to realize how convenient and practical online shopping can be."

Possibly unlike its offline counterpart, online shopping is very popular among men, with 57% of the shoppers being male. Interestingly, figures released suggest the younger the user the more likely they are to visit a shopping Website. 66.5% of Internet users in the 12 to 17 year old age bracket visited a shopping site, compared with 60.5% of those aged between 18 to 34 and just 38% of those aged 35+.