Local News

Avoid the Crowds, Go Cybershopping!

Posted November 29, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— If you want to avoid the crowds, you might want to join millions of people shopping on the Internet. It's not as big as mail order, but cybershopping is gaining fast.

It's amazing how choices have grown since last year. Thousands of sites for merchants, retail stores, even internet malls offer online buying.

That, coupled with millions of new Internet users who received computers last holiday season, makes for real opportunities in Internet buying.

Ah, the joys of holiday shopping. Millions of us will "mall" for gifts but there's a simpler way. Shop on the Internet.

"I don't have to get in and out of my car," says Internet shopper, Miriam Krehbie. "I don't have to fight for the parking spaces. And I don't have to keep bumping into people or deal with grouchy sales people."

We're used to catalogues and mail order shopping. Now you will find a lot of those items on your computer screen. Cigars? They're easy to order online. From bicycles to toys, you'll find plenty of them online. AOL has a huge directory of online sites from clothing to really unique stuff. Looking for a really big deal? Cyber malls like The Internet Mall, Virtual Emporium, Cybershop and Choice Mall are ready for your business.

"Last December we had about 25,000 people visit Choice Mall," says Boris Shimanovsky of Guthy-Renken Internet. "This October, we had well over 350,000 people visit Choice Mall, and this holiday season we expect things to be even greater."

Internet shopping is booming. This year $2.4 billion dollars will be spent online. By 2001, researchers say that will grow to $17 billion dollars and keep rising.

"This is a great time to test because the merchants are very interested in hooking you, and getting you to spend your dollars online,"explains Kate Delhagen, analyst with Forrester Research.

With less overhead, online merchants can offer lower prices, free gift wrapping, inexpensive and sometimes free delivery.

Americans spend $4 million dollars a day buying merchandise and services on the Internet. There's still concern about security. However, those concerns are being addressed with more secure connections.

Electronic commerce is growing, just in time for holiday buying!