Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Survey shows Internet used increasingly for major consumer decisions

CNET News today reports on a survey recently completed that shows that consumers are increasingly using the Internet in making key life decisions such as choosing a new house, researching schools and finding work and work related training.

And it looks like broadband is fuelling this usage. Expect it to continue and develop. By 2010 more and more people will use the Internet not just to research new homes, but to order architect plans and to buy their new home. Children will use the Internet for home schooling and the Internet will directly employ more and more people.

I quote some of the more interesting findings:

"Some 45 percent of Internet users, or an estimated 60 million Americans, said the Internet helped them make big decisions or face a major moment in their life during the previous two years, the survey found. That was up from 40 percent of Internet users who answered the same survey questions in 2002.

Specifically, the survey asked 2,201 adults last month if the Internet played a crucial or important role in making at least one of eight major life decisions.

An estimated 21 million Americans turned to the Internet when seeking more training for a career, while 17 million used it to choose a school for a family member or to help another person with a major illness, the Pew Internet group said.

Some 16 million Americans used the Internet when buying a car or making a major investment or financial decision, it said. An estimated 10 million Americans used the Internet when looking for a new place to live; 8 million when changing jobs; and 7 million when dealing with their own major illness or health condition, the survey said."

Thanks to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, a nonprofit group that conducted the survey.

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