Despite the economy’s impact on purchasing across most retail channels, the Internet has been a bright spot for beauty, showing a 1 percent sales uptick overall in the past year, The NPD Group said Wednesday.

This story first appeared in the May 21, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Annually, the average amount spent per woman on beauty products on the Internet was $86, according to the firm. “The ease of shopping online and product availability continues to be what is driving Internet shoppers who spend more via this channel than in the prior year,” NPD stated. Of the women who spent more, they purchased higher quantities of products as well as more expensive items.

“Higher gas prices also had a positive impact on Internet spending,” according to NPD, as more consumers purchased beauty products online, rather than driving to a store.

Price comparison is another major practice while shopping online. About 66 percent of women who went online but did not make a purchase said they researched products on Web sites that offer multiple brands and single brands.