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Brand Awareness Drives Online Shoppers

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Posted November 6, 2001 By Beth Cox     Feedback

First of a series of reports on holiday shopping finds that 63 percent of shoppers surveyed relied on brand awareness in making e-commerce purchases.

Brand awareness is the top influence on consumers when purchasing online, according to the first of a series of "eSpending Reports" for the 2001 holiday season.

The reports are being put together by Goldman Sachs, Harris Interactive (NASDAQ:HPOL) and NetRatings Inc. (NASDAQ:NTRT) and will track weekly online shopping and buying attitudes.

Findings from the first study revealed that 63 percent of shoppers surveyed in the past week relied on brand awareness as the leading factor in purchasing online, the companies said.

The reports will be based upon a weekly national survey of 500 online shoppers randomly chosen from Harris Interactive's multimillion-member panel of Internet users.

"As we begin the critical holiday season, the eSpending Reports will deliver timely market data on e-commerce spending," said Anthony Noto, Internet, e-commerce and new media analyst at Goldman Sachs. "Through this joint effort, we will provide an in-depth analysis of online shopping trends."

Initial findings from the survey showed that 69 percent of Internet users have not begun shopping for the holidays - but then of course it's barely past Halloween.

Among respondents who have started their holiday shopping in the past week, 63 percent shopped at a site based on prior experience, while nearly a quarter said they shopped at a site based on its traditional retail store presence, which suggests brand awareness is a key factor in driving shopping habits, the survey sponsors said.

Twenty-eight percent of those surveyed shopped at a site they found through a portal or search engine. Only five percent said that the recent terrorist incidents would force them to shop more online.

The survey data is weighted to represent the online population and has an overall precision of +/- 4.4 percent, which varies by question, the companies said.

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