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NPD Study: PC Newbies Jump on E-Commerce Bandwagon

Newcomers to PCs and the Internet are more comfortable shopping online then veteran computer users, according to a study by The NPD Group.

The NPD survey, which polled 4,601 people, found 62% of Internet users with less than six months of computer experience expected to do at least part of their shopping online this holiday season with most spending between $100 and $300. NPD’s research also found these people were more likely to shop in online stores that are affiliated with brick-and-mortar outlets, while the opposite is true for long-time users.

Convenience is the primary reason for the novices, with 29% citing their ability to save time as why they shop in the Internet. Twenty percent also respond to the price specials, 18% said they wanted to avoid crowded malls and stores and 16% shopped online just out of curiosity.

The most frequently shopped sites for newcomers are, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, eToys and Barnes & Noble. The more experienced PC users also like and Barnes & Noble, but also enjoy shopping at eBay, eToys and CDNow. Although 60% reported they enjoyed going to see all the brick-and-mortar stores decked out for the holidays, the remaining 40% said they would not miss the experience.

Online dealers will have to clear a few more hurdles if they wish to attract more PC shoppers. The NPD study found that 26% of the newly minted newcomers didn’t buy from an e-tailer due to security concerns. An additional 10% said shipping costs were too high and 5% were worried about having to return products bought online.

Interestingly, the need to touch and feel a gift prior to purchase was only an issue with 23% of those surveyed.