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Silver surfers lead way in online buying

Silver surfers buy more online than younger internet users and form the biggest area of growth in broadband usage.

Research carried out on 7,000 web users by the European Interactive Advertising Association (EIAA) reveals that more than half (53%) of all silver surfers now use online banking and finance sites.

And 74% have shopped online, buying an average of seven items and spending £575 in a six month period.

This is well above the average online shopper, who spends £520 in the same period.

The survey found that 68% of all European internet users aged 55 years and older now use broadband.

Broadband adoption among silver surfers is growing at a faster rate than the average European internet user - 26% year-on-year growth compared with 14% for younger users.

This increase in broadband penetration is leading to major changes in the way this older generation are communicating and spending their leisure time, said the EIAA.

The older generation spends an average of 8.8 hours online per week - a rise of 18% since 2004 - and 78% of the time they spend online is for personal reasons rather than for work.

The research dispels the myth that social networking is only uesd by the young, with nearly one in five silver surfers (18%) visiting sites such as MySpace and Bebo at least once a month.

This is not too far behind the younger digital generation (16-year-old to 34-year-old internet users) - 28% of whom regularly access social networking sites.

The European Interactive Advertising Association >>

Harrods looks to integrate its online and in-store operations >>

Retailers lead rise in IT spending growth >>

Gartner: retail IT must ramp up for Web 2.0 >>

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