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Online shopping is on the increase in Australia with 62 percent of adult Internet users purchasing goods or services via the Net in the six months to April 2011, the Australian Communications and Media Authority has reported.

‘While Australians undertake a variety of activities via the Internet, growth in online transacting (banking, bill payment and purchasing) is at the core of the emerging online service market,’ said ACMA chairman Chris Chapman, launching ACMA’s latest E-Commerce Marketplace in Australia: Online Shopping report yesterday.

However ACMA’s figures show a decline in the proportion of online shoppers using Australian Web sites: down from 68 percent in the six months to November 2009 to 53 percent in the six months to April 2011.

At the same time the proportion shopping on oversea sites rose from 31 to 48 percent. Nineteen per cent mostly purchased from overseas sites, up from 12 per cent in the six months to November 2009. Other findings include:

– Most purchasing online is still done via a computer, with online shopping via mobile handsets still relatively small;

– Social networking is starting to influence purchasing decisions, with 169,000 people estimated to have made a purchase in June based on advice on a social networking site; and

– The most likely age group to shop online are people aged between 35 and 44, with 73 per cent of Internet users in that age group purchasing online.

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