E-Commerce Catching on With Web’s Newbies

Internet users with less than six months experience on the Net are more confident about shopping online for the holidays this year, according to a survey by NPD Online Research.

The survey found that 62 percent of Internet newbies plan to complete a portion of their holiday shopping online, a jump of 100 percent compared to one year ago. Most plan on spending between $100 and $300.

Web sites associated with brick-and-mortar stores should benefit the most from online spending by newbies, according to NPD. The top newbie sites are dominated by retail chains, unlike the sites preferred by more experienced Internet users.

“Currently, Internet companies are using traditional print and television advertisements to increase site awareness,” said Pamela Smith, VP of NPD Online Research. “New Internet users are being exposed to online advertising more than ever. Such exposure brings a certain level of comfort, making the decision to buy online that much easier.”

Why Newbies Shop Online
Convenience 29%
Online price specials 20%
Avoid crowds 18%
Curiosity 16%
Source: NPD Online Research

Like many Internet shoppers, newbies are being driven online by convenience. Nearly 30 percent reported the ability to save time makes them shop via the Web. Other factors include price specials, curiosity, and the lack of crowds. Somewhat surprising was NPD’s find that 40 percent of Web newbies will not miss the festivities available at brick-and-mortar stores during the holidays, including the decorations and visits with Santa, when they are shopping on the Web.

Internet retailers looking to garner some of the newbie market must overcome the group’s security concerns and other issues intrinsic to online buying. More than one-quarter of newbies did not buy online because of a trust or security concern, NPD found. The desire to see a product before buying it stopped 23 percent, while shipping costs were too much for 10 percent. Five percent were too anxious about returning online merchandise.

Top Five Sites to Be Shopped This Holiday Season
Newbies Net Veterans
1. Amazon 1. Amazon
2. Toys R Us 2. Barnes & Noble
3. Wal-Mart 3. eBay
4. eToys 4. eToys
5. Barnes&Noble 5. CDNow
Source: NPD Online Research

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