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.

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