A study released last week shows that Americans save an average of $8400 per year on food, clothing, entertainment, and other expenses by subscribing to a high-speed Internet connection.
The study was conducted by the Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA), showing that the average savings actually increased from $7695 last year. The savings mostly comes from the extremely competitive pricing of online retailers, social media, comparative shopping, and “deal-seeking” community websites that aggregate low prices. “Consumers are spending more, and there are more opportunities for differential pricing” says Bruce Mehlman, the IIA’s co-chairman.
The biggest savings is in entertainment, where high-speed Internet customers saved nearly $2500 through on-line discounts and exclusive web-only offers. Other big savings come in the form of travel and clothing expenses, where consumers save up to 60% off of retail prices. Other savings came from newspaper subscriptions (85%), drug expenses (33%), and food (26%). The study bases these savings on an average household income of $63,700.
Mehlman calls the Internet a “game changer,” forcing stores to rethink the way they price merchandise, while giving consumers more spending power. Not everyone will save $8,400, but high-speed subscribers that use the Internet to comparison shop should find significant savings. High-speed users get the most benefit because “it takes time and work” to find these savings. People using older dial-up connections often run out of time and patience before maximum savings can be found. “The savings are there,” he said, “and you’ll far more than pay for the cost of the broadband.”