Consumers' fears could stunt Web sales

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The holiday e-tailer report card continued to fill in last week, with a deluge of statistics from online stores, researchers and measurement companies.

One mediocre grade came from Jupiter Communications, which released a study saying consumers' fears about online shopping are causing them to spend less than 10% of their holiday budget online. The late November survey of more than 1,300 U.S. online shoppers found they feared items offered by online stores would be out of stock and not be delivered in time for the holidays.

It also found that online shoppers favored tried-and-trusted merchants. Some 51% of respondents said site recognition and trust were key factors in picking online merchants.

MORE WALLETS COMING OUT

A more positive mark came last week from affiliate marketer LinkShare Corp. It released findings from its network of sites showing traffic doubled from October to November.

More shoppers also were pulling out their wallets. In the last week of November, shoppers made one purchase for every 16 click-throughs, compared to one purchase for every 41 click-throughs in the last week of September.

LinkShare also reported that 88% of purchases were made on weekdays, which it reasoned was because workers were taking advantage of high-speed connections at work.

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