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12/19/2005
06:20 PM
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Study: Most Online Holiday Shoppers Happy Campers

As of Dec. 9, which marks the first six weeks of the season, online consumers spent $3.4 billion on clothing and apparel, or 17% of total sales, the study also found.

Holiday shoppers were on target to spend 16 percent more online this year, with more than 70 percent satisfied with shopping on the Web, a survey released Monday showed.

As of Dec. 9, which marks the first six weeks of the season, online consumers spent $3.4 billion on clothing and apparel, or 17 percent of total sales, the study found. Second and third were consumer electronics and computer hardware and peripherals, which accounted for $2.8 billion and $2.7 billion, respectively.

The findings are based on a national weekly survey of more than 1,000 online shoppers. Goldman Sachs & Co., Nielsen/NetRatings and Harris Interactive conduct the survey.

Rounding out the top five product categories were books and toys/video games, which accounted for a respective $2.2 billion and $1.4 billion in sales.

Apparel and consumer electronics are consistently the most popular gifts during the holidays, Nielsen/NetRatings analyst Heather Dougherty said.

"Additionally, sales in the computer hardware category have been fueled by aggressive discounting on items, such as PCs and laptops," Dougherty said in a statement.

As of Dec. 9, 70.3 percent of online consumers were either somewhat satisfied or very satisfied with their shopping experience, the survey found. Only 5 percent of consumers said they were very dissatisfied or somewhat dissatisfied.

Traditional brick-and-mortar stores captured 69 percent of all spending during the six-week period, with 3.5 percent designated to catalogs. Online was the only channel to see growth, garnering 27.5 percent of the holiday budget, a jump of 5.9 percent from last year.

In a separate report, ComScore Networks said online consumers had spent $15.86 billion from Nov. 1 to Dec. 16, representing a 23-percent increase over the same period last year. ComScore expects consumers to spend more than $19 billion for the entire two-month season, a 24 percent rise from last year.

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