FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Holiday Shoppers are Hitting the Web

So far, online retailers are having a very merry Christmas, according to one report that monitors holiday spending. According to the eSpending Report, published by Goldman Sachs, Harris Interactive and Nielsen/NetRatings, online holiday spending is up 19% from 2003, with consumers spending nearly $9 billion online so far this season. The top sales categories are apparel, toys, video games and DVDs, approximately in that order.

Nielsen/NetRatings also noted that for the week ending Nov. 14, online traffic was up 60% over the week before, with online shoppers leading the charge. Although many of these netizens went online to browse and comparison shop, many were spending money... perhaps explaining why holiday sales at some retailers have been below expectations.

One interesting beneficiary of the growth of online shopping are luxury retailers such as Tiffany and Neiman Marcus. The Web allows these high-end stores to reach consumers who might not live near one of their brick-and-mortar outlets. Plus, a better-informed consumer base is more likely to be interested in luxury goods, and more brand-aware than ever. These retailers can also offer personalization services online, such as initialing and custom fitting.

Source: Washington Post