January 30, 2001, 5:16 PM

A new survey shows evolving online buying habits

Don Davis

Editor in Chief

NFO Interactive, an interactive research provider, release its 2000 Online Retail Monitor, a bi-annual study that examines the buying habits, attitudes and trends in online retailing. A total of 2,134 online users, both buyers and non-buyers, took part in the study. In the current report there is information on differing segments of shoppers and what makes them tick, the role that price plays in the online purchase decision making process, what are the hot categories right now and why, and how top sites performed on measures of stickiness.
Some key learning:
-- 80% of those surveyed have actually transacted online at some juncture. Virtually all online users have used the Internet as part of the shopping process.
-- While men once dominated the online shopping scene, 58% of current online shoppers are female.
-- Three fourths of all online purchases are made by one fourth of online shoppers. These online shoppers have purchased from, on average, 6 categories in the past 3 months.
-- 72% who state they are unlikely to make a purchase online say they are concerned about security.
-- 41% of those surveyed said they would feel more confident in a site if they could email a sales representative for customer service. 45% said they would visit a site more if that email were responded to within 12 hours.
-- 16% of online consumers have used a shopping agent when researching a product online or making a purchase but their use of agents is not strictly to find the lowest price.

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