Holiday Shopping Will Soar in ’99

The number of people who will buy holiday gifts over the Internet using credit cards will more than triple in 1999 according to Ziff-Davis’ InternetTrak survey.

According to the survey, 24 million people over the age of 18 are likely to buy gifts over the Internet, compared to the 7.8 million InfoBeads says shopped for holiday gift over the Internet in 1998. The holiday shopping period runs from October to December.

“Our data shows that consumer confidence in the Web as an established and trust-worthy buying channel is growing at an astonishing pace,” said Barry Briggs, VP of advertising sales for Ziff-Davis. “Two key factors led to this growth: convenience and customer satisfaction.”

The InternetTrak study revealed a high level of satisfaction among consumers who used a credit card to shop online during the 1998 holiday season. Some of the findings:

  • 99 percent were very or extremely satisfied with the convenience of Web shopping
  • 98 percent were very or extremely satisfied with the selection of products on the Web
  • 92 percent were very or extremely satisfied with product delivery
  • 82 percent were very or extremely satisfied with pricing
  • 72 percent were very or extremely satisfied with customer service

The InternetTrak survey also found that online holiday shoppers spent a total of $4.1 billion in 1998. Jupiter Communications has put this number at just over $3 billion, and MCA has said it is as high as $8 billion. InternetTrak found the average expenditure in 1998 to be $526.

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In addition to the 8 million people that did buy online, 3 million used the Web to research and bought through other channels, according to InternetTrak. Five million Web users made use of the Web and then phoned in their order, another 2 million used the Web and then went to the store, and 2 million mailed or faxed in an order form.

The results of the InternetTrak survey found that in addition to the 24 million shoppers who will buy holiday gifts over the Web in 1999, another 24 million will shop via the Web using other channels.

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