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RealTime IT News

Feels Like the Very First Time

A new e-commerce survey of 1,135 online shoppers found that almost half or fully 45 percent of those making purchases on the Internet this holiday season will be doing so for the first time.

The survey from Active Research Inc., a provider of Web-based customer analytic solutions, also found that roughly one-third of shoppers rate price as the most important criterion in selecting an online retailer this holiday season.

But interestingly, about one-third of the first-time holiday shoppers, are choosing e-tailers based on their brand name and whether or not they have a brick and mortar presence. Brand is less important for experienced holiday shoppers (14 percent) who are more concerned about a retailer's product availability (18 percent).

Active Research said that the first-time shoppers are a market segment that "is an e-tailers' to win or lose" and represents a tremendous growth opportunity for online retailers.

Defying the usual stereotypes about tech-phobic geezers, the study also showed that older Americans -- those above age 55 -- are expected to lead the way in online holiday shopping by spending more per person than any other age group -- an average of $521 per person

The survey found that in general shoppers are expecting to spend an average of $388 online this holiday season, compared to $607 in brick and mortar stores. Men are expected to outspend women by 28 percent overall, but only 20 percent online.

Thirty-four percent of all e-commerce shoppers have increased their online holiday purchases from last year, whereas 15 percent expect to spend the same amount this year.

Active Research, which produces various Active Buyer's Guides that are distributed through a network of about 70 Internet portal, content and e-commerce sites, said the independent consumer survey on holiday shopping was completed Dec. 6. Findings have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percent.