Food and gift basket sales increased 4.7%, but total e-commerce, which includes online and telephone orders, increased less than 1%.
More than four out of 10 experienced online retail buyers will do at least some of their holiday gift buying online this year, according to a recent survey by Gartner Group Inc. . Among those buying gifts online, this spending on the Internet will account for 43% of their total holiday spending. Gartner's survey showed that U.S. shoppers with a year or more experience in buying products and services over the Internet will spend $8.4 billion this year. "Internet retailers will be selling to a much more experienced online shopper this year," said David Schehr, research director in Gartner's E-Business Services group. "That is positive because online buyers tend to shop at sites with which they already have experience, so marketing efforts can be more effectively targeted. But expectations will also be higher, and it's crucial that Internet retailers fulfill customer requests this holiday season, or they risk losing those customers forever." The top five gift categories will be books; CDs or cassettes; toys or video games; videos or DVDs; and computer software or games. This is similar to the top listed items purchased last year with the exception of clothes and shoes. Last year, the clothes and shoes category was No. 4,but this year only 8% of online shoppers said they are most likely to shop for clothes online. Four out of five online shoppers said they plan to make most of these purchases in brick-and-mortar stores. This survey was conducted among a sample of 2,704 Internet users identified during a national mail survey. These respondents represent a cross section of the entire U.S. adult population. The study was fielded during September and October.