A new report suggests that e-tailers enjoyed a busy Christmas; also that women have overtaken men in the online shopping stakes.

According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project – which polled 4,052 American adults between November 19 and December 23 – the 2001 holiday season saw 29 million people buy via the internet, up from 20m in 2000, with the average amount spent online jumping from $330 to $392.

For the first time, women made up the majority of internet buyers, accounting for 58% of those purchasing on the web. They were also much more likely to relish it than their male counterparts – 37% of female respondents said they enjoyed the experience “a lot” (compared with just 17% men), while only 15% did not like it at all (29% men).

The survey also revealed that over one-quarter of those buying online during the holiday season used e-commerce for the first time in 2001. Wealthy households still provided the majority of internet shoppers, though there were gains among middle-income families ($30,000–$50,000 a year).

However, three-quarters of American web users did not indulge in e-commerce, the major reasons cited being concerns about credit card fraud, wanting to see something before buying and a simple lack of interest.

News source: Financial Times