January 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

Improved Online Sales Not Guaranteed

Some 55% of Internet users surveyed this fall plan to shop online for gifts this holiday season, according to (www.visa.com) Visa U.S.A., a 9% increase over last year. When asked to give the form of payment they will use, 88% said credit cards and 6.3% said debit cards. At the same time, when asked if they planned to use a debit card online this season, 33.4% said yes. Online shoppers will buy books (45%), toys (41%), music (39%), clothes (35%), computer equipment and software (24%), electronics (18%), gift certificates (14%), gourmet food (13%), sporting goods (11%) and subscriptions (6%); Improved Internet sales are not guaranteed, however, if consumers have a difficult time making their purchases. The survey also found that 43% of online shoppers abandoned transactions because of difficulties checking out.

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