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RealTime IT News

Report: 19 Million Americans to Spend $7.8 Billion Online for Holidays

A new industry report estimates that 19.4 million Americans will shop online this holiday season, representing 28 percent of online adults, or 10 percent of all U.S. adults.

The total includes only those adults who said they had made online purchases in the past or who had not purchased online in the past but said they were "very likely" to do so during this holiday season.

The report from Internet database marketing company Cyber Dialogue is projecting that online holiday spending will be double the $3.9 billion that was spent online for holiday gifts in 1998.

This represents an average of $400 per holiday shopper, a figure buoyed by purchasers of major products such as appliances, home furnishings and computers.

E-retail sites will see peak sales in November, especially among newer Internet users. Fifty-one percent of all Internet users and 73 percent of new users said they are planning to do a majority of their online shopping in November.

"Cyber Dialogue found last year that the holiday shopping season (prompted) families to shop online, and that many of those families remained online throughout 1999," said Thomas E. Miller, vice president of Cyber Dialogue.

"E-retailers that understand their customers can convert holiday shoppers into long term relationships."

About 63 percent of the 19.4 million intended online holiday shoppers are men, and 37 percent are women, the study found. About 51 percent of online shoppers have children under the age of 18 in the household.

Online shoppers with children will account for 55 percent of the dollars spent online.

The findings are from Cyber Dialogue's American Internet User Survey, consisting of random in-depth interviews with 1,000 Internet users and 1,000 nonusers.

The survey is part of Cyber Dialogue's Cybercitizen Continuous Advisory Service.