Consumers in the US are feeling increasingly comfortable about internet shopping and many millions more are expected to buy online in the run-up to the holiday season.

Latest forecasts from business intelligence company Jupiterresearch expect a rise of 18% in the number of online purchasers, bringing the total to 86 million, spending around $21.6 billion (€16.7bn, £11.7bn). And many of them are expected to be internet shopping 'virgins' who have been reassured the experience is safe and secure.

Says Patti Freeman, Jupiterresearch retail analyst: "People are less worried about giving their credit card information and about returns, deliveries and shipping fees."

And as the number of shoppers expands so does the variety of products they buy, not just the best-sellers of toys, books and clothes but also music, movies, electronic items and shoes.

Data sourced from AdAge (USA); additional content by WARC staff