People spend more money online than they do offline, according to new research from the Australian National University.
In a study published online in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, the researchers found that, compared with a year ago, people spent nearly $1,000 per week on online shopping.
People spend almost three times as much on online services and entertainment as they do in offline spending.
In addition, online spending by people aged between 18 and 64 increased from $11,829 to $15,542.
The research team found that people who have more money in their pockets spend more online than people who do not.
In particular, the majority of online spending came from people aged 25 to 64, with people in their 60s and 70s more likely to spend online than their elders.
The researchers believe the increase in spending comes from the rise in the number of sites and services available on the internet, and the increased use of digital platforms.
In this study, they looked at the use of websites, apps, and services across different demographic groups, and compared that to a year earlier.
“The key takeaway from our study is that online spending is a growing industry in Australia and there is a substantial appetite for online entertainment,” the lead author, Dr Rebecca Leach from the School of Psychology at the University of Queensland, said.
“It is clear that this trend is driven by the increasing availability of digital media.”
The study involved asking respondents how much they spent online and what their spending was for in a given month.
It also tracked spending across six different demographic types: men, women, young people, older people, and people with disabilities.
“When people are online, they spend more, because they are more likely, but when they are offline they spend less,” Dr Leach said.
The team used data collected from the survey of 1,600 Australians aged 18 to 64 from the Census and Statistics Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The survey included questions about the cost of various services and online purchases.
“Online spending is growing at a significant rate, with almost 60 per cent of Australians aged 65 and over now spending more on online transactions compared with less than 20 per cent a year before,” the authors said.
While online spending may be increasing, people still spend less online than offline.
“We find that people spend less on online purchases than offline,” Dr Seagal said.
People tend to spend more when they have more disposable income, as well as when they can afford to spend on the same things over time.
“People who have disposable income are more willing to spend money on entertainment and online services,” she said.
A study published in June this year found that a single day spent on online social networking websites accounted for less than 0.5 per cent, or $0.05, of the total spend by Australians aged 16 to 64.
The report also found that in terms of spending, Australians aged between 16 and 24 spent the most online, spending $2,847 on the site, and $1.18 per week, on average.
People who spend more on social networking are more interested in online video games and social networking apps, while people who spend less spend on digital content.
The study also found Australians aged over 65 were the most likely to be interested in digital content, with 85 per cent saying they had watched online video content online.
It is believed that as people become more digitally savvy, their spending on entertainment, entertainment and social media will increase, especially with the launch of the iPad.
The iPad is expected to be the most popular tablet for online spending in the next five years, according the research.
The National Broadband Network is expected, by the end of 2020, to have reached 50 million Australians, and could be used by more than 500 million people by 2020.
The latest figures from the Bureau of Australian Statistics show that over the next decade, Australia’s population will reach over 1.5 billion people, an increase of 7 million people from the previous year.
The Australian Bureau, the Australian Communications and Media Authority and the Communications Alliance have been lobbying the Federal Government to introduce a $12.5 million National Broadbands Program to support the growth of broadband infrastructure in Australia.