NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Online holiday sales are expected to grow by 19% to $21.6 billion this season, driven mainly by consumers new to the Web, according to a survey by JupiterResearch, a division of Jupitermedia Corp.
Some 86 million U.S. residents are predicted to make holiday purchases online this year compared with 73 million last year -- an increase of 18%.
Diminished security concerns
The new waves of Web shoppers are attributed to the Internet's increasing importance and its use as a daily part of consumer life. With time and experience, past security concerns have faded, said Patti Freeman, retail analyst at Jupiter Research.
"People are less worried about giving their credit card information and about returns, deliveries and shipping fees," she said.
This is the third year in a row that there would be a double-digit increase in online holiday spending, and as consumers have become more comfortable with the Web, other trends have emerged.
One is that they are buying a wider variety of products online than they have in the past. While the usual list of top-selling categories -- toys, books and apparel still dominate consumers' planned purchases this year -- they are also likely to buy shoes, music, DVDs, gift certificates, consumer electronics and video games online, according to the study.