Fears that online merchants will lack stock of desirable items or deliver the items too late for holiday giving may drive a majority of online holiday shoppers, about 51%, to spend less than 10% of their holiday budget online, according to research from Jupiter Communications. The Internet research company found uncertainty over online retailers' ability to deliver the gifts on time may encourage some 20 million online holiday shoppers--about 20% of the online population--to favor those merchants from whom they have bought in the past, while 39% said they would buy only from online merchants whose stores or catalogs they had bought from offline. Jupiter queried more than 1,300 U.S. online shoppers in late November and found that the majority of these shoppers plan to act conservatively in shifting their holiday budgets online. But in other findings, online holiday shopping is surging with 78% of Internet shoppers saying they plan to spend the same or more money online this holiday season compared with last year, according to America Online and International Communications Research, a market research company. The new study shows that 75% of Internet shoppers intend to shop online this holiday season and 42% expect someday to do all their holiday gift shopping online.
Copyright December 1999, Crain Communications Inc.