December 29, 2005, 12:00 AM

Holiday online shopping sales up 30% year-over-year to $30.1 billion

Online shoppers spent $30.1 billion, excluding travel, during the 2005 holiday shopping season, up 30% from 2004, according to the Goldman, Sachs & Co., Nielsen/NetRatings and Harris Interactive Holiday eSpending Report.

Online shoppers spent $30.1 billion, excluding travel, during the 2005 holiday shopping season, up 30% from 2004, according to the Goldman, Sachs & Co., Nielsen/NetRatings and Harris Interactive Holiday eSpending Report.

During the Oct. 29 to Dec. 23 holiday shopping season, online shoppers spent the most-$5.3 billion-on apparel and clothing, according to the report. That was a 42% increase from 2004’s holiday season. Computer hardware and peripherals ranked second, with $4.8 billion in spending, up 126% from 2004, the strongest growth this season. Consumer electronics ranked third, with $4.8 billion, up 109% year-over-year; followed by books, $3 million, up 66%, and toys and video games, $2.3 billion, down 9% from 2004.

“Apparel remains one of the more dominant product categories during the holiday season, mirroring the offline holiday retail behavior,” said Heather Dougherty, senior retail analyst, Nielsen/NetRatings. “Computer hardware and consumer electronics had a stellar season, with the price reductions for laptops, plasma TVs, color printers as well as high demand for iPods, digital cameras and media accessories.”

The online sales channel accounted for 27% of total budgets for consumers, up 11 percentage points from 2004, while retail stores accounted for 68% of budgets, down 10 percentage points year-over-year, according to the report. Catalogs buying remained steady at 5%, down 1 percentage point.

Consumer satisfaction reached a new high, with 64% of shoppers saying they felt very or somewhat satisfied, the report said. Consumer dissatisfaction hit a four-year low of 6%.

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