Early Numbers Show Shopping Strength

By SmallBusinessComputing Staff | Posted November 27, 2002

Preliminary e-shopping figures are being calculated as the big season closes in and a joint survey conducted by Shop.org and BizRate.com found that 60 percent of retailers posted revenue increases of 25 percent or greater during the first two weeks of November compared to the same period last year ... and most consumers still have more items on their lists to purchase.

"The 2002 online holiday season is off to a great start," said Scott Silverman, executive director of Shop.org, the online division of the National Retail Federation. "We're encouraged to see retailers reporting online sales increases during these early weeks and expect this trend to continue."

The study attributes much of the early success of the season to incentives - such as free shipping - and improvements in customer service.

"Strong consumer satisfaction with the online buying experience and continued efforts by retailers to making buying online easier and more enjoyable will increase the role of the Internet in holiday shopping this season," said Chuck Davis, CEO of BizRate.com.

A collaborative survey by Goldman Sachs & Company, Harris Interactive, and Nielsen//NetRatings of 750 holiday shoppers during the week ending November 15 also recognized the importance of good customer service: 22 percent rated customer satisfaction as better than their experience last year, influencing the 28 percent increase in spending from the same period in 2001.

The report indicated that an average online shopper spent $72 during the week ending November 15 and analysis from comScore supports the 28 percent surge with calculations that total online consumer sales reached $1.5 billion for the week ending November 17.

Consumers spent an additional $71 million from the week ending November 10 to the week ending November 17, bringing total online spending for non-travel goods and services to $976 million. The week ending November 17 saw 9.2 million Internet users buying online, up 36 percent versus the same week last year.

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