October Online Sales Slow; Holiday Pickup Expected: Studies
Online-shopping revenue appeared to dip in
October, according to the results of an ongoing study of connected
consumers in the U.S. But on the bright side, a separate survey
suggested that some 90 percent of shoppers have yet to finish their
The drop in online shopping last month was reported today by
Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research, whose monthly tally showed
sales at $3.6 billion, down from $4.0 billion in September.
The Forrester Online Retail Index, compiled with the help of the
pollsters at Greenfield Online, calculated that 13.7 million U.S.
consumers shopped online in October, down from 15.2 million in the
"Great deals - like zero-percent financing - in the brick-and-mortar
world lured consumers back to the malls after a slow September, but
they decreased their use of the Web to make purchases," Forrester
analyst Christopher Kelley said in a prepared statement. "And, while
they were out buying a car that they won't have to pay for until next
year, it was also convenient to pick up a sweater and CD that they
might otherwise have bought online."
Meanwhile, another barometer for online shopping, the
Nielsen/NetRatings Holiday eCommerce Index, revealed today that
visits to e-commerce Web sites increased 14 percent during the
second week of November. NetRatings said today that the increase
"(signaled) the beginning of the online holiday shopping season."
NetRatings reported that 39 percent of Americans shopped online over
the past week, with 67 percent saying that they were enticed by
The researchers said 59 percent of connected consumers interviewed
said they shopped online because of the broad product selection, but
26 percent also said that shipping fees for items bought online
continue to be a factor in purchasing decisions.
"E-tailers offering free shipping promotions and competitive pricing
have much to gain from luring price-conscious shoppers," NetRatings'
Sean Kaldor said. "Holiday shoppers feeling the effects of the
slowing economy this season are watching their budgets and looking
for the perfect gift with the right price."
NetRatings, which teams with Goldman Sachs and Harris Interactive for
another profile of e-commerce activity called the eSpending Report,
also reported that just 11 percent of online shoppers surveyed said
they had completed their holiday-season shopping by Nov. 9.
Some 55 percent said they had yet to start shopping, while nearly 35
percent said they had begun the hunt for presents, but were not yet
--Reported By Steven Bonisteel, Newsbytes.com, http://www.newsbytes.com .