NET SPENDING OUTLOOK

Byline: Valerie Seckler

NEW YORK — The hype over online shopping is flying fast and furious, but a new study by Jupiter Communications found that 51 percent of cyber-shoppers plan to do less than 10 percent of their holiday spending on the Internet.
For e-commerce sites, said Ken Cassar, digital commerce analyst at Jupiter, “the real impact of the holiday season will be the ability to convert experimental buyers into full-time buyers.”
“A lot rides on the successful completion of their holiday shopping missions,” Cassar added.
Worries over out-of-stock products, late deliveries and customer service difficulties were cited by the 1,300 cyber-shoppers Jupiter surveyed just before Thanksgiving as reasons they would spend most of their holiday dollars in brick-and-mortar stores.
Apparel ranked fifth among categories in which shoppers planned to make purchases online; 18 percent of those queried saying they will do so. Books led the pack, drawing a positive response from 33 percent.
Nineteen percent of Net users who have been online for two years said they would purchase fashion on the Web for holiday, versus 12 percent of those online less than one year.
Twenty percent of women and 16 percent of men said they would buy apparel on the Web this season; the strongest response to the category, overall, was from 35-to-49-year-olds, 24 percent of whom said they would do so. By comparison, 15 percent of those 50 and older said they would buy apparel on the Net, as did 14 percent of those under 35.
Overall, Jupiter expects just 9.6 percent, or 1.92 million, of an estimated 20 million online shoppers in the U.S. to spend the majority of their holiday budgets on the Web this season.

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