News

Online retail sales up 39% for Christmas

Online retail sales climbed an estimated 39% in the 2002 Christmas season compared with 2001, but the poor economy and the threat of war with Iraq apparently caused a last-minute slowdown.

"At the very tail end - the week or so leading up to Christmas - we did see... the growth rates slow quite a bit compared with last year," said Dan Hess, a vice-president at comScore Networks. In the 2001 Christmas shopping season, there was a last-minute online spending surge that was not duplicated this year, he added.

Overall, comScore estimated that consumers spent $74bn (£46bn) online shopping in 2002, up 39% on last year. The total includes retail spending as well as spending for online travel accommodation.

In the fourth quarter of 2002, consumers spent about $13.8bn (£8.7bn) online, 27% more than in the same period in 2001, according to comScore. Overall, online retail sales alone amounted to an estimated $43bn (£27bn) in 2002, which is about 5% of the high-street sales.

More consumers shopped online, with about 10 million people a week shopping online in the fourth quarter - a jump of 32% over 2001.

Experienced online shoppers also spent 37% more than in 2001, according to comScore, spending about 50% more than first-timers.

Clothing sales increased, while music CDs, books and consumer electronics - all leading online sellers in the past - had "lacklustre" sales.

Online sales of home and garden items, small appliances and jewellery also increased. "They're bellwethers [that show that] people are considering this is a place to buy a broad range of products," Hess said.

Email Alerts

Register now to receive ComputerWeekly.com IT-related news, guides and more, delivered to your inbox.
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
 

COMMENTS powered by Disqus  //  Commenting policy