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Online Buying Signs

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It's hardly news that more Americans are choosing to purchase products online. According to a bevy of recent reports, nearly half of the U.S. adult population has made at least one purchase online. And what kinds of products are being bought online? The product profile is clear: consumers like to purchase airline tickets on the Web, not cars. Books, not hotel rooms.

Perhaps the biggest recipient of all this e-commerce action is the travel industry, which in January 2001 was responsible for nearly a third of all e-commerce transactions. Which must mean that although users are buying things from their office desks and workstations, the impulse to fly away remains ever-strong.

DATA POINTS
NO, JUST LOOKING:
25 percent of the total active adult Web population shopped for hotel reservations and 21 percent shopped for computer hardware, but only 10 percent and 9 percent, respectively, actually made purchases. 26 percent shopped for cars, but the percentage that actually bought an automobile online was so small it couldn't be measured.

LOOKING & BUYING:
45 percent of the total Web audience shopped for airline tickets and 22 percent bought them. 40 percent shopped for books and 25 percent made purchases.+

OH YEAH, I'M ON THAT BANDWAGON, TOO:
48.2 percent of the total U.S. population, and 81.2 percent of the online population, have made an e-commerce purchase.*

Sources: Milpitas, Calif.-based Nielsen NetRatings and Rochester, N.Y.-based Harris Interactive e-commercePulse; Diameter@plan Advertising, a division of Doubleclick, New York.

+All figures in above data points from an average six month period ending in Jan. '01

*According to a March 2001 survey