More than 627 million people -- roughly 10 percent of the world's population -- have shopped online at least once, according to an ACNielsen research study. The study was conducted in May through an online poll of 21,100 respondents in 38 markets across Europe, Asia, North America, Latin America and South Africa.
Internet users were asked about their online shopping experiences, in terms of frequency, payment methods and preferred purchases. The highest incidence of shopping occurred in Germany, Austria and the United Kingdom, with at least 95 percent of Internet users having made purchases online. Two-thirds of Web users in those countries said they had made purchases within the previous month.
Europeans showed a tendency to shop more often than their counterparts in North America. Online shoppers in Europe made an average of five purchases in April, while North American shoppers online made an average of four purchases.
The United States ranked 11th by country in terms of online purchasing, with 89 percent of users having purchased something online. The study said that the mall culture in the United States may explain why online shopping has not reached European levels, adding that the retailing environment in Europe makes it more difficult to purchase products at a store.
In Asia, online shoppers in South Korea, which has one of the world's most wired populations, made an average of four purchases in the last month, compared with five to six purchases in the last month in Singapore, Taiwan and China.
Latin America showed the lowest level of shopping frequency, with Internet users saying they made just three purchases within the month.