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Goldman Sachs, Nielsen//NetRatings and Harris Interactive Launch Fifth Annual
Holiday eSpending Report

Convenience, Promotions and Improved Shopping Tools Expected to Fuel Online Holiday
Shopping in 2005

Goldman, Sachs & Co., Nielsen//NetRatings and Harris InteractiveŽ today announced they will collaborate on their fifth annual series of 2005 Holiday eSpending Reports throughout November and December 2005. Developed jointly by the three companies, the eSpending Report offers weekly insight into the online holiday shopping season by examining dollar spending  by market segment, and tracking consumer attitudes and motivations driving online shopping behavior. The eSpending Report is based on a weekly national survey of approximately 1,000 randomly selected online shoppers.

"The fifth annual proprietary eSpending survey will provide important data points that will enable us to assess online consumer spending levels, drivers of preference, and levels of satisfaction throughout the holiday season. We expect solid sales growth during the holiday season, benefiting from the continued secular shift to online shopping. However, we also anticipate increased levels of competition among pure play online commerce companies, brick and mortar companies, and comparison shopping companies," said Anthony Noto, Internet and Entertainment analyst, Goldman Sachs.

Key Elements of the 2005 Shopping Season

Online retail is positioned for strong growth this holiday shopping season. Factors driving consumers to make online purchases include: convenience of online product research and comparison shopping, competitive pricing, Web-only sales promotions and positive online shopping experiences. Retailers are also offering personalized products and online/offline gift card redemption to further stimulate shoppers
into making online purchases throughout the holiday season.

"Online sales should see robust growth this holiday season, partially aided by rising gas and heating prices, as consumers seek to maximize their holiday budgets," said Heather Dougherty, senior Retail analyst, Nielsen//NetRatings. "Multi-channel retailers will look to capitalize on the trend toward the online sales channel by incentivizing holiday buyers through discounts, reduced or free shipping for guaranteed on-time delivery, and gifts with purchases."

"Additionally, retailers are providing a more streamlined online shopping experience, offering gift recommendations and broad product selection not only to entice online purchasing, but also to help consumers research purchases and shop more efficiently offline," she continued.

Categories poised for growth this holiday season include:

ˇ Computers and consumer electronics, as shoppers utilize comparison shopping tools to price the latest must-have gadgets.
ˇ Toys and games, as a consistently strong product category with children and parents.
ˇ Apparel, based upon previous online purchasing experiences, and a greater selection of products and sizes available online.
ˇ Books, music and DVDs, driven by popular holiday releases and affordable price points.
ˇ Gift cards, encouraged by online/offline redemptions for last-minute gift ideas.

"From a historical perspective, it will be interesting to see if this coming season's research will show a dramatic shift in the holiday gift budget designated for online purchases," said Karen Chiarelli, vice president of Technology Research, Harris Interactive. "Each year has seen the addition of more tenured shoppers and improved consumer satisfaction, which stands to increase again this year."

Highlights of the 2004 Online Holiday Shopping Season

During the 2004 holiday season, online shoppers spent a record $23.2 billion online, excluding travel, representing 25 percent year-over-year growth. More than a third, or 37 percent, of online consumers were very satisfied with last year's Web shopping experience, and 30 percent felt it was better than the previous year.

Last year's online consumers spent the most during the holidays on apparel/clothing, which totaled $3.8 billion, or 16 percent of total online revenue, followed by toys/video games generating $2.5 billion, or 11 percent of total online revenue. Consumer electronics purchases also had a strong season last year with online shoppers spending $2.3 billion to garner 10 percent of total online revenue.


About Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs is a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm that provides a wide range of services worldwide to a substantial and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and high net worth individuals. Founded in 1869, it is one of the oldest and largest investment banking firms. The firm is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Hong Kong and other major financial centers around the world.

About Harris InteractiveŽ
Harris Interactive Inc., based in Rochester, New York, is the 13th largest and the fastest-growing market research firm in the world, most widely known for The Harris PollŽ and for its pioneering leadership in the online market research industry. Long recognized by its clients for delivering insights that enable confident business decisions, the Company blends the science of innovative research with the art of strategic consulting to deliver knowledge that leads to measurable and enduring value.

To become a member of the Harris Poll OnlineSM and be invited to participate in future online surveys, go to

About Nielsen//NetRatings
NetRatings, Inc. (Nasdaq: NTRT) delivers leading Internet media and market research solutions, marketed globally under the Nielsen//NetRatings brand. With high quality, technology-driven products and services, Nielsen//NetRatings is the global standard for Internet audience measurement and premier source for online advertising intelligence, enabling clients to make informed business decisions regarding their Internet
and digital strategies. The Nielsen//NetRatings portfolio includes panel-based and site-centric Internet audience measurement services, online advertising intelligence, user lifestyle and demographic data, e-commerce and transaction metrics, and custom data, research and analysis. For more information, please visit


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