Will the digital marketplace redefine consumer lifestyles? Does networking improve the quality of our lives? What is the overall trend when it comes to internet usage and what trends can be observed with respect to specific sites and services? In particular, how is online shopping developing, which advantages and obstacles will have a decisive impact on the future trend? The paper addresses these questions, along with an examination of the demographic and typological characteristics of online target groups and their sometimes-surprising consumption patterns. The paper also focusses on the question of how key consumption orientations have changed in conjunction with expanding internet usage and what providers of internet sites and services in Europe's largest market Germany can expect in future.