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Internet Edges Telephone in ATA Sales Study

Internet sales nudged out telephone sales in an American Teleservices Association study of consumer buying activity released yesterday.

Forty-five percent of respondents said they made a purchase over the Internet in the last year, while 41 percent reported they made a purchase over the telephone during the last year. One thousand consumers were surveyed for the report.

In a similar study by the ATA in 2001, 45 percent said they made a purchase by telephone, compared to 37 percent who purchased over the Internet.

The study did not take into account the ways in which telephone services had assisted in completing Internet sales, the ATA said in a statement.

Geographically, 51 percent of respondents in the Western United States said they had purchased over the Internet, compared to 34 percent over the phone. Fifty-five percent of consumers in the Northeast said they had purchased over the phone compared to 47 percent over the Internet.

The survey also asked whether consumers used caller ID devices. The study found that 41 percent of those surveyed had caller ID, compared with 38 percent in the 2001 study.

Geographically, consumers in the South were most likely to use caller ID, with 48 percent saying they subscribed to the service. The Midwest exhibited the fastest growth of caller ID, with 42 percent saying they used it compared with 33 percent in the 2001.

Younger people were more likely to use caller ID, with 57 percent between 18 and 24 and 54 percent between 25 and 34 saying they used the service.

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