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Seniors - Buying more and shopping for services more than any other age group 
by: Harris Williams

Shopping for goods

The online shopping population, which now consists of 66 million Americans, will double to 132 million in the next five years, according to Jupiter Media Metrix.

"The next generation of online shoppers will be quite a bit different than the consumers who defined the Internet channel in its early years," Ken Cassar, Jupiter senior analyst, said in a statement March 4, 2002. "They will be more representative of middle-class America."

Consumers 50 and older will account for 30 percent of new shoppers from 2002 through 2006, compared with 16 percent of the current online shopping population, according to Jupiter.

Also, the average household income of online shoppers will drop to less than $65,000 in 2006 from $70,000 now, Jupiter predicts. Nearly half of new online shoppers' household income will range from $30,000 to $75,000 between 2002 and 2006.

Shopping for services
Though there will be significant increases in online shopping, the search for information on services and service companies is already on the rise.  According to Jupiter, over 35 million Americans now look to get information on service companies before they even pick up the phone.

Yellow pages are still the number one place where people go, but among Internet users, over 80% say that they either find information on services through the Internet alone or in conjunction with the Internet.  "It seems as though the biggest benefit to Yellow Page placement is the ability to list a phone number and give out the company web site name."


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