U.S. Web Sales Hit 2.8 Billion Dollars for January
LOS ANGELES (March 1) XINHUA - U.S. consumers spent 2.8 billion dollars shopping
online in January, according to a report released Wednesday.
In the said month, during which retail sales typically slacken, consumers spent
about half as much online as they did for the entire holiday season, said a new
monthly report compiled by the National Retail Federation (NRF), a trade group,
and Forrester Research, a technology research firm.
"We're very excited about the data," said Scott Silverman, NRF vice president
for Internet retailing.
The numbers are also consistent with Forrester studies that show online spending
has exploded from 2.4 billion dollars for all of 1997 to 8 billion dollars in
1998 and 20.2 billion dollars last year.
"Once consumers get engaged in online shopping it tends to stick," said Seema
Williams, a senior retailing analyst for Forrester Research. "They're shifting
more of their spending to online."
Market analysts said the numbers reflect the growing presence of e-commerce and
the increasing comfort level of consumers as they get used to the idea of
shopping on the Internet.
NRF and Forrester hope the new report, believed to be the first that tracks only
Internet sales, will help identify what consumers are buying and how much they
are spending online.
The report, based on the results of 5,000 responses to an online panel surveyed
by Greenfield Online during the first 10 business days of February, showed that
consumers spent the most on airline tickets, nearly 318 million dollars.
Next, consumers spent the same amount for computer hardware and books, more than
224 million dollars each. Third on the list was computer software, for which
shoppers forked over 187 million dollars, closely followed by 182 million
dollars spent on apparel.
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