Internet users with less than six months of experience on the Web are more confident about shopping online this holiday season, and that should benefit Web sites associated with bricks-and-mortar stores.

"Newbies" say they prefer to make their online purchases at sites owned by major off-line retail chains, according to the survey by NPD Online Research.

New users are coming online in time for the holidays for many reasons, but the top reason is convenience, cited by 29 percent. Other reasons included price specials (20 percent), avoiding crowds (18 percent), and curiosity (16 percent). Forty percent said they will miss none of the festivities at bricks-and-mortar stores--decorations, music and visits with Santa.

Internet retailers still need to overcome some worries if they want to attract new users. The survey found that 26 percent of newbies didn't buy online because of a trust or security concern. The need to see a product before buying it stopped 23 percent. Shipping costs proved too high for 10 percent. And 5 percent were too anxious about returning merchandise.

HOLIDAYS ON THE WEB

A survey found some overlap in the top five Web sites to be shopped this holiday season by new and experienced Web users.

"Newbies," who have been on the Web less than six months, plan to shop at:

* Amazon.com

* ToysRUs.com

* Wal-Mart Online

* EToys

* Barnesandnoble.com

"Net vets," who have been on the Web more than six months, plan to shop at:

* Amazon.com

* Barnesandnoble.com

* EBay

* EToys

* CDNow

NOTE: survey of 4,601 Web users

SOURCE: NDP Online Research