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The percentage of Internet users who shopped for gifts online continued to grow in the 2002 holiday season, according to a new survey from Retail Forward.

Eighty-eight percent of Internet users shopped online this past holiday season – up from 81 percent who shopped online over the 2001 holiday season. Perhaps more significantly, the proportion of those shoppers who made purchases online grew as well – to 75 percent from 69 percent last year – rebounding from a decline in 2001.

The study says that while the online gift purchase incidence grew for several merchandise categories this past holiday season, books, apparel, and toys continue to be the most likely items online holiday shoppers purchase.

Among online shoppers who didn’t purchase online, the primary reason for not purchasing online was wanting to see or try out contemplated purchases before actually making the purchase.

Survey results also indicate that although the 2002 holiday season was at least as promotional and value-oriented across the entire retail landscape as was the 2001 season, significantly fewer online shoppers cited the availability of better deals in stores as a reason for not making online purchases this holiday season versus last.
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