HOLIDAY ONLINE SPENDING DOUBLES

Holiday spending online from the first week of November till December 24 totaled $9.8 billion. This is more than twice the $4.7 billion that consumers spent online during the comparable time period in 1999, according to a survey conducted by PC Data Online, Reston, Va., and Goldman Sachs, New York.

‘Despite disappointing reports from some Internet online retailers, online spending growth was healthy during the Holidays,’ says Cameron Meierhoefer, Internet analyst for PC Data. ‘While many Internet retailers enjoyed a strong holiday season, this may have come at the expense of other pure-play e-tailers who needed to exceed expectations this year.’

‘While it appears that online Holiday sales this year will be solid and within our estimated range, veteran e-commerce companies should be the primary beneficiaries as they continue to garner market share from smaller, less-established companies,’ said Anthony Noto, Goldman Sachs Internet analyst.

Electronics led all categories in spending for the first time during the holiday season as online users spent over $118 million for last-minute purchases. The survey did not have a category for jewelry.

Overall, survey respondents were pleased with online shopping this season. Among those who bought last year, 94% said the experience was the same or better than in 1999.

Internet Web e-commerce measurement firm, PC Data Online, in cooperation with Goldman Sachs, surveyed 2,715 home-based Internet users concerning their buying practices on a weekly basis. The weekly survey is part of a study commissioned by Goldman Sachs e-commerce analyst Anthony Noto and PC Data Online to better understand and measure behaviors, attitudes and trends on online buying during the holiday season. The margin of error is +/- 1.9 at a 95% confidence level.