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U.S. online shoppers spent $25 billion in one week, says study

SAN FRANCISCO: Holiday shoppers in the United States had spent $25 billion online during one week ending 16 December and electronics and clothing items were their favourites. This represents a 25 per cent increase over the same period in 2004, according to a survey.

The survey, covering 1,000 adults carried out by Goldman, Sachs & Co., Nielsen/NetRatings and Harris Interactive for the Holiday eSpending Report, said shoppers bought computers and consumer electronics worth $3.75 billion and $3.67 billion respectively, the two items together accounting for 28 per cent of online spending.

Clothing items accounted for $4.68 billion, an aspect, which the surveyors said, indicated that more and more people are becoming accustomed to online buying of apparel. Some of the brands that have become popular are Gap and Eddie Bauer, while department stores like Macy’s seem to have made an online presence, the surveyors said.

The report said toys and video games were not favourite items and only 7 per cent of the spending went for these items — $1.91 billion. This is possibly because the shoppers are waiting for the new video game consoles, which are expected in the market soon. This adversely affected the sales of new game titles.

Nielsen/NetRatings’ Heather Dougherty said electronic gadgets that saw satisfactory sales were iPod from Apple Computer and Sidekick from Danger Inc.

The surveyors said sales during the week ending 16 December as the biggest sales week for the holiday shopping season, which started 1 November. Results of a final survey of online shopping in the week ahead of Christmas are expected next week.

The survey found that almost half of holiday shoppers knew which sites they had to log on and they did not require the assistance of a search engine. Where a search was required, Google was the preferred site with 40.5 per cent depending on it, with Yahoo coming next with 20.9 per cent. However, shoppers wanting to know about multiple stores had mentioned Amazon (25.1 per cent) and eBay (23.4 per cent).

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