Internet Confidence Still Climbing

SAN FRANCISCO–New findings from the December Yahoo!/ACNielsen Internet Confidence Index survey show that consumer confidence in Internet products and services has continued to rise through the holiday season.

The Confidence Index is a quarterly study developed by Web portal Yahoo! Inc. and market research company ACNielsen to help provide objective measurements for online shoppers’ faith in the Web. The first study was released in June 2001.

Following the events of Sept. 11, a special study outside the quarterly schedule was fielded to gauge post-tragedy online confidence. In the Northeast, for example, consumer faith in e-commerce products and services rose considerably. Confidence also increased in the Midwest and West, but dropped slightly in the South.

As Yahoo! Representative Stephanie Iwamasa pointed out, what is interesting about the December findings is that there has not been a significant drop off in confidence more than two months after the special study recorded the notable jump.

“We weren’t sure if it would drop back down or maintain,” said Iwamasa. Overall, consumer confidence increased one point this time around, which, according to Iwamasa, highlights that there has been “a long-term effect and somewhat permanent change” in consumer attitudes.

In addition, the study found that two-thirds of online shoppers have made travel-related purchases over the Internet, citing the ability to find better deals and do more in-depth travel research on the Web.