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Online shopping appeals to third of all Net users

Laxatives cited as one of most common purchases -– must be all that sitting in front of a PC

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A third of all people online regularly buy things off the Net according to a study by US-based CDB Research & Consulting. It claims consumers are using ecommerce to order everything from travel bargains to laxatives and says that the floodgates (of e-commerce, that is) are officially open. The most common purchases are inexpensive items such as books, CDs and small gifts. It also maintains that Internauts are happy to purchase expensive items such as PCs, cars and airline tickets. "When it comes to ecommerce, consumers clearly prefer well-defined items -- those with which they are already familiar," said Ann Middleman, VP at CDB Research & Consulting. "Online shoppers tend to stick to known quantities -- a John Grisham book is a John Grisham book and a ticket to Chicago is a ticket to Chicago." The study also revealed few differences between the way men and women use ecommerce although it discovered that women were more likely to use the Web because it is convenient. Men, it seems, are keener to use it for those hard-to-find purchases. ®

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