For Immediate Release

November 23, 2004

Two Out of Three Holiday Shoppers Will Buy Online - And Almost Half Will Miss Out on the Best Deals

New Harris Interactive Survey Projects Record Number of Online Shoppers For the Holidays; Millions Will Waste Time and Money

San Mateo, Calif. (November 30, 2004)
This holiday season, more consumers will purchase gifts online than ever before - but only about half of those buyers will get the best deals available through the Web. According to a recent Harris Interactive® survey, commissioned by NexTag.com, the fastest growing independent comparison shopping site, 66% of U.S. adults with Web access said they will purchase at least one gift online this year and 22% expect to do more shopping online than they did last holiday season. However, only 58% of those surveyed said they are likely to visit a comparison shopping website to ensure they get the best possible deal by quickly and easily comparing prices on tens of millions of products and services.

While more consumers understand the value and convenience of online shopping than ever before, it can still be daunting to wade through the thousands of Web retailers to find the perfect gift at the most attractive price. Fortunately, there are now online tools and resources available to accelerate the shopping process and help shoppers save even more time and hassle than just avoiding overcrowded malls. Online comparison shopping sites eliminate the need to separately visit several merchant sites to find the best deal by quickly collecting and presenting price and feature comparisons for a specific product or service from multiple retailers.

"As a busy mother and professional writer, I value the Web tremendously as a shopping tool, but I have zero tolerance for websites that waste my time - and worse yet, my money - especially during the busy holiday season," said Jonni McCoy, a recognized expert in thrifty living and author of several best-selling books including Miserly Moms. "Comparison shopping sites like NexTag.com are the greatest boon to busy, cost-conscious consumers since the invention of the Web itself. If you plan to go shopping online during the holidays, or any other time of year for that matter, you owe it to yourself to use a comparison shopping site."

With more shoppers expected to utilize Web stores this season, NexTag offers the following tips to make holiday online shopping easier:

  1. Be informed. Know what you want to buy, and identify the minimum features you need so you don't buy a low-priced item only to learn it doesn't suit your needs. Understand the merchant's return policy, shipping cut-off dates and other key data.
  2. Compare prices. Know the true price (price + tax + shipping) so you recognize a deal when you see it. Also, use features like NexTag's price history charts to understand how a product's pricing has changed over time.
  3. Be comfortable with the merchant. The Web is a great resource for research, and NexTag and other comparison shopping sites offer shoppers the opportunity to read product and merchant reviews by other shoppers to increase comfort.
  4. Be fully equipped. Find coupons and rebates, which can be redeemed, online. In the case of favorite merchants, sign up for their emails so you hear about special offers and other discounts first.
  5. Save copies of all transaction information and note customer service numbers. Keep a record of the transaction receipts and all confirmation numbers along with the customer service number in case you need to track your purchase. Note those merchants with physical retail outlets who accept returns of products purchased online, as that's often the easiest way to exchange an item.

Methodology

Harris Interactive® conducted this online study between September 24 and 28, 2004 among a nationwide sample of 2,585 U.S. adults (aged 18 and over) who are online. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, income, region and online purchase behavior were weighted where necessary to align with U.S. adult online population proportions.

About NexTag

NexTag.com is the leading comparison shopping site for products, mortgages, travel, cars and more. The company's proprietary Search And Match technology (SAM) helps shoppers quickly compare prices for products and services. NexTag's highly qualified traffic and performance-based pricing makes it an extremely efficient sales channel for thousands of retailers, service providers and individuals. Launched in 1999 by two Stanford graduates, Purnendu Ojha and Rafael Ortiz, NexTag is a privately held company based in San Mateo, California. For more information, go to www.nextag.com.

About Harris Interactive®

Harris Interactive Inc. (www.harrisinteractive.com), the 15th largest and fastest-growing market research firm in the world, is a Rochester, N.Y.-based global research company that blends premier strategic consulting with innovative and efficient methods of investigation, analysis and application. Known for The Harris Poll® and for pioneering Internet-based research methods, Harris Interactive conducts proprietary and public research to help its clients achieve clear, material and enduring results.

Harris Interactive combines its intellectual capital, databases and technology to advance market leadership through U.S. offices and wholly owned subsidiaries: London-based HI Europe (www.hieurope.com), Paris-based Novatris (www.novatris.com), Tokyo-based Harris Interactive Japan, through newly acquired WirthlinWorldwide (www.wirthlinworldwide.com), a Reston, Virginia-based research and consultancy firm ranked 25th largest in the world, and through an independent global network of affiliate market research companies. EOE M/F/D/V.

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