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Internet shopping now growing equally across all UK income groups

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New research from The British Population Survey identifies the age groups and the socio-economic classes that are seeing the most growth in internet shopping.

The largest increase in the age groups came in the 18-24 group, the survey found, with 52.3% of them now shopping online against 44.6% in Q4 2008. The 55-64 age group was also up 4.4%, with 47.6% of them engaged, and in third place were the 45-54’s, up by 3.8% to 58.6%.

“In social grades there is a remarkable uniformity in the increase in penetration across the grades,” say the researchers. “The largest rise was in the E grade, up by 5.9% from 11.4% to 17.3%, but as they only account for 2.9% of the market, it is perhaps more important to note the second place rise of 3.4% from 38.6% to 42.0% of the C2 social grade, as they now account for 18.1% of total online shoppers.”

For the first time, more than one in five of the 65+ age group shopped online in the last quarter of 2009. “This age group is the largest in the population as a whole, and their access to, and engagement with, the internet is continually growing,” the researchers explain. “As the early adopters in the younger groups mature, online purchase power among ‘silver surfers’ can only be set to grow ever stronger.”

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