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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 November 2006, 12:29 GMT
Women plan online festive splurge
Woman shopping over the internet
Women are more wary than men about internet security
Women will drive online shopping this Christmas outspending men for the first time, according to internet research firm Nielsen Netratings.

Average spending by women on festive gifts will rise to 240, eclipsing average male expenditure of 233.

Netratings said women were attracted by the convenience of buying goods online and tended to seek out big brand names.

Retailers can look forward to a bumper online Christmas, it added, with 70% of internet users buying gifts online.

Reputation counts

Average online spend among UK internet users will rise to 237, compared to 197 spent on the High Street.

It is the behaviour of women online that will dominate the success of the online Christmas
Alex Burmaster, Nielsen Netratings

But it warned that some high street retailers needed to improve their online offerings, while web-only retailers needed to convert people doing research on their sites into buyers.

Netrating's annual Christmas Shopping Online survey showed that women were three times more likely to buy a gift through the internet than men.

"There is little doubt that the behaviour of all areas of the internet population is encouraging for retailers this Christmas," said Alex Burmaster, Nielsen Netratings' European internet analyst.

Shoppers in London
Many people now spend more online than on the High Street

"However, perhaps for the first time, it is the behaviour of women online that will dominate the success of the online Christmas."

Established companies with respected brand reputations are likely to dominate the online retail market, with more than 40% of internet users likely to buy goods from such companies.

Tesco is set to reign over the grocery market, with 40% of those questioned expected to do their food shopping there, compared with 19% at Asda and 15% at Sainsbury's.

Security concerns

Consumers in the south-west of England will spend the most online, per head, of any UK region, while the 35-44 age group will devote more of their budget to online purchases than any other.

However, concerns over the security of internet transactions are still a barrier to some people shopping online.

More than 45% of internet users are worried about how their debit and credit cards are handled when they shop online.

"There is still much work to do in implementing and, particularly, communicating security measures to potential customers," Mr Burmaster added.

M&S tops High Street web ranking
24 Nov 06 |  Business
Seasonal shoppers go for sat-nav
03 Nov 06 |  Business
Christmas gift spending 'to soar'
15 Nov 06 |  Business
Strong year for online retailing
13 Feb 06 |  Business

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