Two separate studies show that broadband is having an increasingly positive impact on Internet sales. A study by BigResearch for WorkPlace Media, which distributes advertiser offers and samples to employees through their companies, reveals that a high percentage of employees spend time researching and buying on the Internet.
NetPop Research finds that consumers spend nearly half their weekday free time on the web. Increased use of broadband connections is a common denominator in both studies. At work web browsing is found to lead to in-store purchases. At home, consumers multitask, browse and shop the web while watching TV.
It's not surprising that workers take to the Internet, since U.S. consumers spend an average of 60 percent of their waking hours at work. In the WorkPlace Media study, 47 percent of employees said they went online from work to research electronics in the past 90 days and then made a purchase in a store.
Nearly as many, 40 percent, said they researched and then bought apparel, 34 percent checked out restaurants, 21 percent browsed for food and grocery items and 20 percent shopped for shoes. In a separate survey, Bigresearch found 29.4 percent of working consumers say they regularly shop online from work.
"We're spending more and more of our hours at work, so we've got to get more done, even if it involves personal stuff," said Dan Wheeler, EVP of WorkPlace Media. "We're all trying to get much more done during the workday, including researching and making purchases at work."
Access to broadband connections in most workplaces also encourages consumers to shop at work, Wheeler said. A whopping 99.6 percent of consumers with Internet access at work have high speed connections. This compares with 59 percent having broadband at home, according to data from the National Retail Federation, which is cited by WorkPlace Media.
In addition to shopping, employees are also comparing notes about their purchases during the workday, the survey showed. An overwhelming majority of respondents said they regularly or occasionally give advice to workmates about products and services, and nearly as many said they seek advice from peers before making purchases. The, "At-Work Consumer Media & Shopping Behavior," survey report is based on responses from 3,989 U.S. employees in a variety of industries.
The Internet has become a big part of leisure time activities of U.S. consumers with broadband connections, who spend nearly half of their free time each weekday online, according to the Netpop Research survey. Netpop is a division of the Media-Screen market research and consulting firm. Respondents said they have on average 4.5 hours of free time each weekday and spend 2.2 of those hours on the web.
Many are multitasking, especially watching TV and going online simultaneously. Four out of five said they have gone online while watching TV, and 39 percent said they do so regularly.
Why do they go online while watching TV? About two thirds said to get work done, while 38 percent said they want something to do during commercials.
One quarter said it is to look up information about the show they're watching; 15 percent check out products; 15 percent take polls or share opinions, and 11 percent share experiences with others.
There was little difference between men and women in terms of the free time they spend online. But consumers between the ages of 13 and 17 spend the highest percentage of time online; approximately 54 percent of their leisure time.
In a separate survey, Netpop found that personal computers account for 30 percent of the time consumers spend listening to audio content, 48 percent of the time spent watching video content, and 37 percent reading such print content as newspapers, magazine and books.
Mobile phones still stand far behind PCs. Among consumers age 13 to 34, cell phones account for less than 10 percent of the time spent accessing audio, video and print content, and the figures are even lower for older consumers.
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