Online spending busts records

Buoyed by an increase in the population of online shoppers and more liberal spending by online shopping veterans, e-commerce in the United States blew away old spending records with a nearly 40 percent leap over 2001, according to preliminary results from one research firm. Not counting auctions, online consumer sales leapt to about $74 billion in 2002, according to comScore Networks.

"This is particularly impressive considering the fragile economy and one of the worst holiday retail seasons in recent memory," comScore said in a statement accompanying the results. The holiday season may have disappointed retailers generally, but online shops did well, according to comScore and others.

The survey data count online purchases by U.S. consumers connecting from home or work, regardless of whether the seller was located in the United States. The results were preliminary and relied on projections made in August, comScore said. But real data through Dec. 20 suggested that the projections would bear out, according to comScore.

The research firm also quizzed its online shopping panel on attitudes toward online shopping, finding that 53 percent think the Internet is the easiest or most convenient way to shop and 61 percent go online to find bargains.

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News source: c|net

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