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Internet rings the changes for UK consumers as 'online' overtakes 'phoneline'

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With broadband Britain putting more and more consumers online, the internet has overtaken the telephone as consumers' direct channel of choice according to new independent research released today by the internet insurer, esure.

The ICM 'Internet Shopping' poll commissioned by esure shows that people are now three times more likely to shop for items using the internet than they are using the telephone.

Peter Wood, esure's Chairman and Group Marketing Director, who today launches Mister Mouse, a new internet icon for the company backed by a multi-million pound marketing campaign, said: "We're in the 21st century and have to listen to 21st century customers' needs. The UK has become a three channel nation for shopping: high street, internet and telephone. This poll shows that the internet has now overtaken the telephone for people who want to go direct."

Three quarters (75%) of all UK adults say they make savings by buying products online, with 24% saying that they believe the average saving for internet shopping stands between 10% and 50%. In insurance, this reflects the growth of online discounts: esure, for example, offers a 15% discount on home insurance and a 10% discount on motor and travel insurance when bought via the internet.

Peter Wood said: "It costs us less for customers to apply and buy online, so we reflect this in internet discounts that pass on the saving."

The rise of security awareness and online security systems is reflected in the survey which shows that consumers are becoming more comfortable with buying - and paying for - products online. Nearly half (44%) of all adults aged 25 - 44 now say they feel 'totally comfortable' with inputting debit and credit card details to pay for online purchases.

The esure poll also reveals the top items that UK internet shoppers now buy exclusively online are:

Electrical goods
For those people who do still buy products on the phone or in the high street, the majority now research online before they buy. Specifically for insurance, 43% say they search the internet for the best deals before they pick up the phone.

Editor's Notes:
ICM Research interviewed a random sample of 1005 adults aged 18+ by telephone between 6 and 8 May 2005. Interviews were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. Regional, gender and age breakdowns are available on request.

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