Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Online Sales to Grow 17 Percent in '08

Nine years ago, companies like Boo.com invested heavily in the idea that people would do a huge amount of shopping online. Unfortunately, the time for e-commerce going mainstream had yet to come. This study, however, indicates that not only are consumers comfortable making purchases online, they are increasingly changing their purchasing behaviors in unprecedented ways.


From The New York Times - Online spending is expected to rise a robust 17 percent this year, despite a sluggish economy that has bruised many brick-based retailers, according to an annual survey to be released Tuesday.

Retail sales online, excluding travel purchases, are set to grow to $204 billion in 2008 from $174.5 billion last year, fueled by sales of apparel, computers and autos, according to a survey conducted by Internet analysis firm Forrester Research for Shop.org, the online arm of the National Retail Federation trade group. That projection is below the 21 percent increase seen in the prior year, but industry officials attribute it to the maturing of the business, not the sluggish economy.

E-commerce ''is clearly the bright spot in retailing,'' said Scott Silverman, executive director of Shop.org.

The upbeat report contrasts with the outlook for many traditional retailers, which have been paring down store growth and closing shops as they struggle with consumers who don't feel like spending amid higher gas and food costs, a housing slump and a weaker job market. The exceptions are discounters and wholesale clubs, as shoppers turn to less expensive stores. | Read full article

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