E-tailers get their holiday report cards

In a season marked by relatively slow retail sales overall, e-commerce solidified its foothold with consumers over the recent holidays - with sales generating nearly twice the revenue recorded during the 1999-2000 holiday stretch.

E-tailers also got high marks from shoppers, according to the NPD Group, a Port Washington, N.Y.-based marketing-information firm. Nine out of 10 customers were satisfied with their online Christmas shopping, says a report by NPD.

And even though 63 percent of buyers met with some difficulties, mainly because of out-of-stock items, 4 in 10 said they would be making more purchases online before the end of January. Some 34 percent of shoppers polled said they would buy more online if there were "lower or no shipping fees."

A little more than half of holiday online buyers were women. Slightly more than a third of all buyers were over 45. And half had incomes under $60,000.

The most popular categories of goods purchased were books, apparel, music, toys, and movies/videos/DVDs.

Amazon.com led all online retailers over the holidays, posting nearly $1 billion in sales.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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