Canberrans the most web-savvy in the nation

Canberrans take to the internet quicker than most. Photo: Lyn Osborn Canberrans take to the internet quicker than most. Photo: Lyn Osborn

Canberrans take to the internet quicker than most. Photo: Lyn Osborn

Canberrans are taking to the online world quicker than other Australian city dwellers in almost every way – with the apparent exception of social networking.

Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show Australia’s growing reliance on the internet, and in particular online shopping.

And nowhere is that reliance higher than in the ACT.

The report found 91 per cent of Canberrans used the internet in 2012-13 and 98 per cent connected from home. Both rates remain the highest in the country.

Canberrans also have the fastest connections, they are online more frequently and appear to be doing more while there.

Almost two thirds of Canberrans have bought CDs, music, videos or books online, well up on the 51 per cent average for major cities – and up on the 44 per cent recorded in the 2010-11 data.

Canberrans were also the most likely in the nation to access government service and listen to music or watching videos online, with about a third of all residents saying they did so.

The territory was also the only jurisdiction with more people downloading videos and music, at 51 per cent, than not.

However, the territory had the lowest percentage of people using social media, at 64 per cent, compared with 67 per cent for major cities across the country.

The data revealed that 90 percent of Australians aged between 15 and 17 used social media.

The managing director of Canberra based marketing agency Voodoo Creative, John Yanny, believes the make-up of the city’s workforce might be a factor in this discrepancy.

“Canberra has a significant migratory population with many people coming in and out of the city for work. Another factor is might be the lack of access to social media in many public service department,” he said.

More than three quarters of Australia’s 15.4 million internet users now shop online, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

In Canberra, 81 percent of internet users booked their travel, accommodation and memberships online in 2012-13.

Travelscene Canberra managing director Simon Lightbody said the number of people planning and purchasing their holidays online was rising.

“We are increasingly contacted by people who have started an internet process but have had trouble proceeding because it’s been too difficult or because they have been burnt in the process,” he said.

“People have different expectations and standards of service when they shop online,” he said.

Australian Retailers Association executive director Russell Zimmerman said the growth of online shopping had had a lingering impact on Canberra’s retail sector.

“We’re seeing more and more retailers begin to understand that they need to be engaged with their consumers through multiple channels, that includes the internet,” he said.

According to latest findings, those who refrained from shopping online did so because they held security concerns regarding credit card payment or because they preferred to shop in person or had no need to.

Canberrans who didn’t use the internet for shopping were more concerned about credit card security than elsewhere. About 17 per cent cited this as a concern, compared with the average major cities of 13 per cent.

Internet use was most prolific with those aged between 15 and 17 years-of-age, while only 46 per cent of those aged more than 65 years-old used the internet.

Across the nation, the most popular activities performed online were paying bills, online banking, and social networking.

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