September 24, 2003, 12:00 AM

Half of consumers will shop online this holiday season, predicts Brand Keys

Half of all consumers plan to do some of their Christmas shopping online this year, up substantially from last year’s 42.5%, says consulting firm Brand Keys. The amount they spend will increase 62%, Brand Keys predicts.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

Half of all consumers plan to do some of their Christmas shopping online this year, says a new consumer survey from Brand Keys, up substantially from last year’s 42.5%. And while the number shopping online will go up 15%, the amount they spend will increase 62%, Brand Keys predicts, indicating that consumers are shifting a higher proportion of their holiday spending online.

Brand Keys is a New York City-based brand and customer loyalty research consulting firm. It conducts surveys of 16,000 consumers nationwide twice a year. The surveys asks about loyalty and spending plans in 31 industry categories and for 189 specific brands.

Consumers expect to spend $710 in all channels on holiday gifts.

In the other channels, 70% expect to shop at discount department stores, up 5% from last year; 52% at traditional department stores, down 2%; 41% in catalogs, up 3%; and 40% in specialty stores, no change.

Based on customer loyalty measures, Brand Key expects certain companies to be the beneficiaries of the greater online activity. The categories they fall into and the leading companies in each are:
Online Retailers
1. Amazon.com
2. Borders.com
3. Buy.com
4. CDnow
5. BN.com

Search for Products/Deals
1. Google.com
2. Yahoo.com
3. MSN.com
4. HotBot.com
5. Excite.com

Among discount stores, Brand Keys expects the following to benefit from customer loyalty:
1. Wal-Mart
2. Sears
3. Target
4. JC Penney
5. Kmart

Among clothing catalogues, leading companies will be:
1. L.L. Bean
2. Sears
3. Lands` End
4. Nordstrom
5. J. Crew/Macy`s

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