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.

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