May 15, 2007, 12:00 AM

Women are not just looking, they’re buying online, survey shows

A new survey shows 96% of women who shop online have bought something on the web in the past year. In fact, apart from grocery shopping, women say more than half their shopping time is spent online.

In another indication that consumers are increasingly comfortable shopping on the Internet, 96% of women who shop online say they have made at least one purchase online in the past year. 57% of respondents said they both research and buy online, while 31% said they browse online but purchase in stores.

The telephone survey of 427 adult women was conducted in February by Consumer Reports National Research Center for ShopSmart, a new consumer-oriented shopping magazine from the publishers of Consumer Reports.

Here are other findings from the survey:

• Women spend an average of 1.2 hours per week shopping online, and 52% of their non-grocery shopping time is spent online.
• 18% say they do most of their online shopping at work, while 54% say they mostly shop online between 5 p.m. and midnight.
• 32% reported negative experiences. Of those, 20% said they did not receive the item they ordered and 13% said the merchandise was different from what was described.
• The most spent on one item averaged $397, with 15% saying they had spent $1,000 or more on a single purchase.
• 17% of respondents said they would never buy food online, 14% said clothing, 8% shoes and 7% jewelry.

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