December 13, 2004, 12:00 AM

Online spending is up, but there’s more shopping to be done, report says

27% of online shoppers have completed holiday shopping vs. 31% last year at this point and they’ve spent 26% more online than they spent last year, reports the Holiday eSpending Report.


27% of online shoppers have completed their holiday shopping vs. 31% last year at this point and they’ve spent 26% more online than they spent last year, reports the Goldman, Sachs & Co., Harris Interactive, and Nielsen/NetRatings’ Holiday eSpending Report. Spending has reached $12.7 billion since the beginning of November.

“We expect online holiday purchases to peak this week as the free shipping deadline for Dec. 24 delivery looms in mid-December,” said Heather Dougherty, senior Retail analyst, Nielsen//NetRatings. “Retailers are continuing to drive holiday sales through the Internet with special online-only sales and reduced-cost shipping promotions, which continue to motivate consumers to purchase gifts online.”

The latest eSpending report shows that 39% of respondents are very satisfied and 24% somewhat satisfied with their online shopping experience. In addition, 26% of this year’s holiday shoppers found it easier to find stores and products online while 2% stated online retail destinations were worse than in the previous year. 27% of online holiday shoppers look to spend more than last year.

Asked for the top reasons in selecting a specific web site versus another for purchases, 63% said item price was most important. Other factors were:

Item prices, 63.4%
Product selection, 56.7%
Ease of use,55.7%
Shipping costs/free shipping, 50.4%
Already registered at the site/return customer, 48.2%
Trusted brand name of site, 41.2%
Prior experience shopping offline with the company, 31.2%
Guarantees of credit card security, 27.9%
On-time shipping guarantees, 19.5%
Ability to return to stores, 12.2%


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