Emergic: Rajesh Jain's Blog

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eTailing comes of Age

December 9th, 2003 · No Comments

WSJ writes about how the holiday season is shaping up for the lucky ones who survived:

Some small Web-only retailers refused to die. A handful in unlikely categories such as jewelry, shoes and luggage are profitable and growing far more quickly than their offline counterparts. These specialty online retailers are prospering at a time when overall online sales are booming.

Consumers are expected to spend $12.2 billion online this year in the Thanksgiving-to-Christmas period, up 42% from last year, according to Forrester Research of Cambridge, Mass. The growth reflects a steady shift of retail spending to the online world, as consumers grow more comfortable with the Internet and the spread of high-speed home connections makes browsing and ordering simpler. Online shopping also tends to be more weather-proof; many snowbound Northeasterners ventured out into cyberspace instead of the elements to continue their holiday shopping this past weekend.

Still, a mere 4.5% of total retail spending is expected online this year, compared with 3.6% in 2002. But even the small shift in retail sales represents a combined billions of dollars for Internet retailers.

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