According to the latest forecast from market research specialist NPD Group, online sales are set to rocket to $12.5 billion in the run-up to the Christmas and New Year holidays – nearly double last year’s figure thanks to a surge in the number of new online buyers and higher spending levels by existing cybershoppers.

NPD’s predictions are based on a sample of 4,315 internet users, 80% of whom says they plan to shop online for products and services this holiday season. Two-thirds of the sample – equivalent to fifty-four million people – plan to purchase at least one product or service via the web.

The online buying bonanza will see a high proportion of repeat purchases, with 95% of those who bought last year intending to do so again this time. A majority, 56%, say they expect to spend more money this year.

The ten sites most likely to benefit from the e-spendfest are:,, eBay,,, CDnow, eToys,, and Yahoo!.

News source: Advertising Age - Interactive Daily