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US Increasingly Chooses Web Over Malls

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Expect this online holiday shopping season to be a blockbuster as 80 percent of American Internet users will purchase gifts online, according to a Zogby International poll commissioned by AOL. New York City will lead the rest, more than doubling the spend of the nearest market.

A quarter of online shoppers plan to spend most of their holiday budget online. That’s an average of $504.52, or almost 40 percent of their overall budget of $1,282.13. In NYC, that budget is $2,137.26, 70 percent of which will be spent online ($1483.36).

The nearest top-20 market, Orlando, will spend just $645.24 of their $1,995.41, while Cleveland residents will devote $577.31, nearly half the $1,200 they’ve allotted.

The online draw, as one might imagine, is the speed of online shopping and the ease of comparing products. Three in five (58%) said comparison shopping was a driving factor. Nearly a third (29%) said they found things online not available in local stores, and 24 percent said free shipping was a major factor. Seventeen percent liked the last-minute rush advantage.

The price of gas, perhaps surprising to some, is not a major factor driving consumers online. Only nine percent said they’d shop online to save money on gasoline.

“These findings clearly show that U.S. Internet users are shopping online more and more during the holiday season because of convenience, selection and price,” said Robert Hayes, AOL VP/GM Marketplace. “The average consumer is starting to see the advantages of online shopping over the traditional brick and mortar store.”

Items more likely to be purchased online:

60% said books and music

35% said electronics

31% said toys and games

29% said clothing and accessories

23% said software

Top Online Holiday Spending Cities:

1. New York City , average online spend: $1,483.36, (average overall budget: $2,137.26)

2. Orlando, average online spend: $645.24 (average overall budget: $1,995.41)

3. Cleveland, average online spend: $577.31 (average overall budget: $1,238.14)

4. Denver, average online spend: $558.84 (average overall budget: $1,113.67)

5. Los Angeles, average online spend: $528.69 (average overall budget: $1,282.08)

6. Houston, average online spend: $527.96 (average overall budget: $1,407.87)

7. Dallas, average online spend: $525.71 (average overall budget: $1,202.46)

8. Miami, average online spend: $509.70 (average overall budget: $1,157.68)

9. San Francisco, average online spend: $489.29 (average overall budget: $1,098.54)

10. Washington D.C., average online spend: $484.23 (average overall budget: $1,371.32)

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