August 21, 2002, 12:00 AM

More browsers become online buyers, Harris reports

In the first quarter of this year, 66% of online browsers bought products online. Two years ago, 57% of browsers bought online, says the latest eCommerce Pulse report from Harris Interactive.

The ratio between online buyers and online browsers is growing, says the latest eCommerce Pulse report from Harris Interactive. In the first quarter of this year, 66% of browsers bought products online. Two years ago, 57% of browsers bought online. “Consumers’ comfort level for shopping online is going up,” says Lori Iventosch-James, director of e-business/technology research at Harris Interactive. “People move much more quickly into online buying than they did two years ago because it so ubiquitous.”

Harris Interactive’s latest research reports that 103 million consumers shopped online--meaning they gathered information about products but didn’t necessarily buy either online or offline. That figure is up 14% from a year earlier. The number of online browsers, meaning they gathered information then bought online or offline, was up 15% from a year earlier to 62 million. The number of actual online buyers grew 14% from year to year, reaching 41 million.

Highest growth categories year to year in sales were videos, up 125%, home and garden, up 98%, flowers/gifts/cards, up 93%, electronics, up 84%, and health and beauty, up 77%. The high growth is partly the result of some of those categories, such as home and garden, coming from a small base, and partly the result of the growing acceptance of online buying among a more mainstream audience, Iventosch-James says.

 

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