RealTime IT News

Bizrate.Com Survey Reveals Increase in Holiday Sales

Online holiday buying this season is showing a fourfold increase over last year, according to a BizRate.com survey that also showed that the average online buyer will spend $530 on the Web for holiday purchases this year.

First-time buyers comprise 63 percent of this surge in Internet consumerism, the company said. Of nearly 37,000 survey respondents, 22 percent of "veteran" buyers -- buyers who had purchased holiday gifts online before -- said they'd purchase at least half their gifts this year from Internet retailers. That's double the amount of purchases for "veteran" buyers during the 1998 holiday season.

"Online consumers are having positive experiences at record rates, and their numbers are growing exponentially," said Paul Bates, vice president of the Information Products Group for BizRate.com. "This holiday season will be a significant factor in propelling Internet retailing toward critical mass."

The BizRate.com survey also found that convenience is the greatest customer benefit driving the boom in online gift buying. Seventy percent of respondents said they were shopping online to avoid crowds, followed by 65 percent who liked the ease of round-the-clock availability.

Forty-seven percent cited "saving money" as their primary motivation for choosing Internet retailers.

Security took second place to on-time deliveries as a cause for concern. Fifty-six percent said they're anxious about late deliveries, compared to 50 percent who are not completely comfortable transmitting credit card data and personal information over the Internet. Finishing a distant third (38 percent) were concerns about merchants running out of stock.

Females counted for only 40 percent of holiday buyers in 1998, but this year they're chalking up a 52 percent majority, the survey found.

BizRate.com's HoliDaily Report, which tracks daily the number of online orders and amount of sales by seven goods categories and gender for the 1999 holiday season, found that Monday, Dec. 6, has been the biggest shopping day thus far, tracking 1,241,300 online orders.

BizRate.com is an independent rating guide built on the experience of millions of actual online buyers who provide feedback and transactional information at the point of purchase.