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More than three-quarters (78%) of adult online consumers in the US made some type of  purchase over the web in the previous six months, and the top transaction categories are travel, credit-card management and online banking, according to (pdf) a survey from Nielsen Online.

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The #1 online transaction category was travel, with 38% of adult online consumers making at least one travel purchase on the web in the previous six months. Credit-card account management and home banking took the #2 and #3 spots, with 36% and 35% of consumers conducting transactions, respectively.

Clothes, shoes, accessories and books were also popular online purchases.

“Most consumers see online retail as a primary benefit of the internet,” said Nachi Lolla, research director, commerce, Nielsen Online. “The sheer convenience of being able to comparison shop from your home or office has become all but irresistible. Possible early concerns about online security have been sufficiently addressed, and consistent on-time delivery and reasonable shipping costs have bolstered consumer confidence. The challenge for retailers is no longer how to lure shoppers online, but how to differentiate their brand among all others.”

Nielsen also announced the top 10 online shopping websites, by unique audience, for October:

About the research: The online purchase research is based on a quarterly survey of approximately 36,000 US internet users age 18+.

Source: Top 10 Online Retailers, Shopping Categories