Online Holiday Spending Reached $13.8B in 2001

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Americans spent $13.8 billion online in the 2001 holiday shopping season, a 15 percent increase from the $12 billion spent a year ago, according to the eSpending report released yesterday by Goldman Sachs, Harris Interactive and Nielsen//NetRatings.


U.S. consumers spent 13 percent of their holiday shopping budgets online in 2001, the report said. In December alone, online spending rose 41 percent from the previous month. The holiday shopping season encompasses the eight weeks of November and December.


Holiday spending in the last two weeks of November and the first two weeks of December accounted for 65 percent of the season's total, the report found. Spending peaked in the first week of December, with 20 percent of online shoppers making purchases.


"The steady stream of special sales and free shipping offers during the peak online shopping weeks attracted consumers and helped e-tailers achieve higher revenue growth," said Lori Iventosch-James, director of e-commerce research at Harris Interactive.


The eSpending report is based on a weekly national survey of 500 randomly chosen online shoppers.


The report also found that overall customer satisfaction rose during the 2001 holiday season, with 86 percent of online shoppers saying they were satisfied with their experience. Of the 500 Internet shoppers surveyed, 24 percent said they had a better shopping experience in 2001 than they did in 2000.


"With 15 percent spending growth this [holiday season] e-tailers were well prepared and able to deliver a consistent or even improved level of service in 2001," said Sean Kaldor, vice president of analytical services at Nielsen//NetRatings.


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