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Online Toy Shopping Gaining Popularity
By Michaele Birney Arneson
January 1, 2003

Despite 2001’s well-publicized bankruptcy filing for former Web superstar etoys, and sluggish sales during the holiday season, online sales continued to gain market share, with increased growth anticipated throughout the coming year.
According to a recent survey commissioned by America Online, 86 percent of respondents indicated that they conduct product research, or purchase products or services online at least once a month. More than 6 in 10 online shoppers said they were planning on spending more during 2002’s holiday season than the previous year. The survey also revealed that 62 percent of their purchases would be for children’s gifts, and that toys would comprise 38 percent of that amount. For those in the toy industry, an online presence still makes good marketing sense.

Why they shop online

Although many online shoppers know that they can purchase the same items at traditional “brick and mortar” stores, they cite convenience as being a large factor in their decision to shop online.

Jessica Durbin of Streator, Ill., who conducts nearly 75 percent of her shopping online, finds this method both convenient and enjoyable. “I don’t have to deal with long lines or questions that no one can answer, or kids clinging to my legs,” she said. “I can ‘shop around’ and decide on the best deal without wasting anyone’s time.”

The ease of getting to, and receiving products from, the online “store” is another factor (cont.)



Business: Even Small Businesses Can Benefit from an Internet Presence
Supplement: Do-it-Yourself Articles for E-newsletters
Concept: Internet Marketing and Retailing


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