Financial and Government Destinations, and Holiday Shoppers Still Out There

Financial and Government Destinations, and Holiday Shoppers Still Out There

The eSpending report from Goldman, Sachs & Co., Harris Interactive, and Nielsen//NetRatings shows that nearly one in three or 42 million shoppers reported to have completed their online holiday shopping. Additionally, the latest weekly report showed that excluding travel, consumers spent $2.7 billion online last week, an 18 percent weekly increase and an increase of 85 percent as compared to the same week last year.

The latest eSpending report showed that 31 percent of respondents have completed their holiday shopping online. Forty-six percent reported to have started their online shopping, while only 24 percent have not begun their holiday shopping on the Web.

"With nearly seventy percent of consumers still shopping, there's still plenty of room for growth and increased spending online," said Abha Bhagat, senior analyst, Nielsen//NetRatings. "Additionally, with Chanukah beginning three weeks later this year as compared to last year and retailers extending shipping deadlines, we're looking forward to continued growth and a solid overall holiday season."

When asked about the top three reasons why online shopping was preferred over in-store shopping, 38 percent of respondents preferred to avoid crowds. This was the number one reason for consumers to shop online. 35 percent of those surveyed stated that they shopped online because they expected to find lower prices online than in retail stores. Other top reasons for shopping online included the ease of comparison shopping online and the inconvenience of traveling to stores.

"Convenience and ease of comparison shopping have long been advantages for online shoppers," said Lori Iventosch-James, director of ecommerce research, Harris Interactive. "As the holiday season progresses, we expect to see a shift in priorities as price will decrease in importance and the desire to avoid crowds grows greater."

Top Reasons For Purchasing Online Rather Than Going to a Store
(Percent of Consumer Audience)
11/29/03 to 12/5/03

  • Prefer to avoid crowds 38%
  • Item price is lower on the Internet 35%
  • Easier to compare products and prices online 28%
  • Traveling to stores is inconvenient 28%
  • Wider selection of products available on the Internet 26%
    Source: Goldman Sachs, Harris Interactive and Nielsen//NetRatings.

    And, for the last week in November...

    Top 10 Online Finance/Insurance/Investment Destinations

    Brand or ChannelUnique Audience (000)Active Reach (%)
    AOL Personal Finance3,9973.84
    Bank of America2,9112.8
    Yahoo! Finance2,3702.28
    MSN Money2,1342.05
    Capital One1,7991.73
    Wells Fargo1,6811.61
    American Express1,4431.39
    Discover Financial Services1,3461.29

    Top 10 Online Government & Non-Profit Destinations

    Brand or ChannelUnique Audience (000)Active Reach (%)
    U.S. Dept. of Defense1,2221.17
    U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services1,2161.17
    U.S. Dept. of Commerce1,0991.06
    U.S. Dept. of the Treasury6090.58
    U.S. Legislative Branch5190.5
    U.S. Dept. of the Interior4160.4
    U.S. Dept. of State2920.28

    Source: Nielsen//NetRatings
    Week ending Nov. 30, 2003
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