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Web shoppers will spend between $12 billion and $15 billion (£700 million to £900 million) over Christmas according to Ernst & Young - almost double previous estimates, and at least treble the amount spent last year. Two-thirds of the 1,200 US consumers surveyed said they expected to do at least 10 per cent of their Christmas shopping online - up from 23 per cent last year. Also, while men made up the vast majority of online shoppers last year, women's natural predilection has come through with 58 per cent of those Net shopping this year expected to be from the fairer sex. CDs and books remain the firm online favourites but other goods such as clothes are catching up fast. ®

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

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