Internet confidence stays flat


Market Analysis

Internet confidence stays flat
Confidence in the Internet appears to have hit something of a plateau this year with the most recent, and previous, quarters showing very similar levels, says ACNeilson in its annual assessment of Internet products and services. Despite that, consumers are said to be preparing a massive spending spree in the final quarter of the year. Confidence may have stalled, but it's stalled at a high enough point for the online players to make hay.

This is the second annual Internet Confidence Index that ACNeilson has delivered. And it shows some encouraging signs. Whilst the confidence monitor may not have risen since the previous quarter studied, year on year there has been a 'significant' 8 point rise - to 113 points. This, says ACNeilson, is much to do with the improvements made to personal information security across the Internet over recent months.

These improvements don't just make good stats of course, they make revenues too and ACNeilson is predicting a bumper crop of them for the fourth quarter and Christmas period. The firm reckons that over the fourth quarter we can expect to see as much as $19.6 billion being spent online. That's the projections at least and if they come true that will represent a very healthy 23% increase year on year.

The increase in predicted revenues is substantial and, broken down, makes out for an average of $244 being spent, per

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Internet shopper. That's up from last years fourth quarter which saw $225 per person being spent online. And guess who's doing the spending. The consummate surfers, the professional online buyers with experience and years of surfing under their belts. And guess what else, they're all trying to tap into the broadband services on offer too.

When you look at the profile of Internet shoppers it's the broadband users that cough up the most dollars - and that are the most confident about the Internet. Broadband consumers are giving the Internet a Confidence rating of 156, above the average 113, and are expected to be spending as much as $287 per person come the fourth quarter. Narrowband users on the other hand rate the Internet Confidence at 128 and are expected to spend only $210.90. Cut this again, into heavy and light users, and the picture changes again. Heavy users are voting Internet Confidence at 150 and are predicted to spend $255.90. Light users voted confidence at a disappointing, and frankly naive, 108, and only plan to spend $196 online in the fourth quarter.

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