2002 Online Sales to Jump 41%

Jun 12, 2002

According to a Shop.org survey of more than 100 retailers, including traditional brick-and-mortar operations, catalog retailers and e-tailers, online B2C sales will jump 41% to $72.1 billion this year.

Large sales increases are nothing new to e-tailing but 56% of the retailers that participated in the Shop.org study reported their operations were also profitable in 2001. Elaine Rubin, chairman, Shop.org said, “Consumer adoption of the online channel has reached critical mass and retailers have been able to respond by turning this trend into profits.”

Shop.org’s research also indicates that online stores are capturing greater share of total retail sales. Online sales accounted for more than 5% of the overall market in seven retail categories including computer hardware/software, books, event tickets, music/videos, travel, toys and consumer electronics.

Of all the channels, catalogers performed best with profit margins of six percent, according to Shop.org. The study said that bricks & clicks and pure-plays still continued to post losses last year despite sales increases over 2000.

Moderator Comment: What online retail categories that
are not currently profitable do you think are most likely to become moneymakers
in the years ahead?

Our votes go to:

  • Ready-to-wear clothing (bricks and clicks operators)

  • HBC and pharmacy

  • DIY and household items

Grocery is still a ways off, although niche retailers
such as gourmet stores that do a sizeable catalog business and innovative services
such as MoreHands.com could prove us wrong.

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