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Report: More Women Shop Online

WASHINGTON - More women than men now shop online, according to a report by the Pew Internet and American Life Project released Tuesday, Reuters reports.

For years men have been more likely to shop over the Internet than women, but in the 2001 holiday season 58 percent of those making online purchases were women, the study found.

Women also were more likely to enjoy the experience, with 37 percent reporting that they enjoyed shopping online "a lot" compared with 17 percent of men. Twenty-nine percent of men polled said they did not enjoy shopping online at all, compared with 15 percent of women.

The report also found that Internet users are spending more money and say they are more comfortable with online shopping than last year.

The average online shopper spent a total of $392 in 2001, up 19 percent from $330 in 2000, the report said. In all, 29 million people bought gifts online during the 2001 holiday season, up from 20 million in 2000.

Users were more likely to say online shopping saved them time and money. New users, young users, African-Americans and Hispanics were among the most enthusiastic, the report said.

More than one quarter of those who bought online did so for the first time this year, the report found. While middle-income households earning between $30,000 and $50,000 showed gains, more affluent households still made up the majority of online shoppers.

Three-quarters of U.S. Internet users did not buy holiday gifts online this year, citing fears of credit-card abuse, a lack of interest and a desire to see the items before they purchase them.

The report was based on a survey of 4,052 U.S. adults that took place between Nov. 19 and Dec. 23. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
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