E-Shoppers Are Now E-Spenders

Retailers are learning to give Web customers what they want, such as better integration of sites and stores and flexible return policies

Eggnog chugging and mistletoe kisses are among the few rewards for holiday shoppers after weeks spent fighting punishing crowds and long lines. But millions of consumers have found an alternative. Shopping online is a way around the season's stressed-out, tantrum-throwing children (and adults) and indifferent sales help. Compared to last year, Internet retail sales this holiday season are expected to jump 21%, to $16.8 billion, according to Jupiter Research, while overall retail sales are forecast to rise closer to 5%.

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