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Convenience, Not Price, Drives Online Holiday Shopping, According to Nielsen Online Pre-Holiday Survey


Year Over Year, Shoppers Expect to Spend a Similar Share of their Holiday Budgets Online

New York, November 20, 2007 - Nielsen Online, a service of The Nielsen Company, reported today that online shopping’s primary appeal is the convenience it offers. In an online survey fielded by Nielsen Online, out of nearly 1,000 respondents, 81 percent indicated that the ability to shop anytime during the day was why they chose to shop online during the holiday season. Saving time was the next most popular reason to shop online, with 77 percent of respondents, followed by the ability to comparison shop and find things easily, with 61 percent and 56 percent, respectively.

Only a minority of respondents, 46 percent, listed low prices as a reason to shop online rather than in-store. Even fewer respondents, 24 percent, cited low shipping costs.

“Coming into the holiday season, retailers are keenly focused on promotions, which certainly have the ability to move the needle in the short term,” said Ken Cassar, vice president, industry solutions analytics, Nielsen Online. “In the long run, however, convenience keeps people coming back to the Internet during the holiday season. It’s available whenever consumers are ready to shop, offers a wide selection, and obviates the need to fight the crowds at the mall.”

Online Share of Holiday Budget
Respondents said that their 2007 online holiday spending would compose about the same share of their total holiday budgets as in 2006. Thirty-five percent of respondents, the largest group, reported they will spend between 25 and 50 percent of their holiday budget shopping online. Thirty-three percent of respondents expect to spend less than 25 percent of their overall holiday budget online.

“The fact that consumers expect to allocate the same share of what may be a shrinking overall holiday budget to the Web, suggests that online sales growth may not live up to the 20 percent annual growth rates we have seen in years past,” said Cassar.
Table 1: Expected Share of Holiday Budget to be Spent Online for 2007
Percent of Holiday Budget Online / Percent of Respondents
Less than 25 / 33%
25-50 / 35%
51-75 / 20%
More than 75 / 12%
Source: Nielsen Online Pre-Holiday Survey, November 2007

Favorite Retailers
Among the most heavily trafficked online retailers, respondents ranked Dell as the highest in customer satisfaction, with 79 percent saying they were “Very Satisfied” with their experience. and Netflix followed close behind, with 77 percent of respondents being “Very Satisfied.”
Table 2: Customer Satisfaction among Online Retailers
Retailer / Percent of “Very Satisfied” Respondents / 78.7% / 77.2% / 76.5% / 75.3% / 70.7% / 69.2% / 68.6% / 67.7% / 66.5% / 66.1%
Source: Nielsen Online Pre-Holiday Survey, November 2007

Category Trends
For those looking for gift ideas, the Nielsen Online pre-holiday survey found that the gifts most people would like to receive include:

* Apparel, shoes, accessories
* Home electronics
* Books
* Gift cards

Compared to 2006, online holiday shoppers expect to increase their spending the most significantly in 2007 in the Toys & Video Games and Gift Certificates & Cards categories.
About Nielsen Online

Nielsen Online, a service of The Nielsen Company, delivers comprehensive, independent measurement and analysis of online audiences, advertising, video, consumer-generated media, word of mouth, commerce and consumer behavior, and includes products previously marketed under the Nielsen//NetRatings and Nielsen BuzzMetrics brands. With high quality, technology-driven products and services, Nielsen Online enables clients to make informed business decisions regarding their Internet, digital and marketing strategies. For more information, please visit
About The Nielsen Company

The Nielsen Company is a global information and media company with leading market positions and recognized brands in marketing information (ACNielsen), media information (Nielsen Media Research), online intelligence (NetRatings and BuzzMetrics), trade shows and business publications (Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Adweek). The privately held company is active in more than 100 countries, with headquarters in Haarlem, the Netherlands, and New York, USA. For more information, please visit


 Nielsen Online
 The Nielsen Company
 online shopping
 holiday season

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