ecommerce sites death rumors

The Rumors of Ecommerce Death

As Nasdaq sputters along in dot com shame, a few million few dogged Internet consumers have ignored the crash. They continue to happily buy away. The good-news story is not popular with business writers,
but Web retailing continues to grow seemingly unaware that the online mall is crashing down around them as they choose garden tools, sell sports cards and order vacation packages. Things aren't perfect. There has been somewhat of a dip since Christmas, but I think most Net retailers can live with a post-holiday. Retailers have weathered after-Santa blues since the English switched from wassailing to kids toys in the mid-1800s.





Rich buyers seek service basics online

Forrester Research looked at the shopping habits of rich consumers, those with investable assets on $1 million or more, and found that these shoppers are more interested in strong basic serve than they are in virtual exclusivity, extravagance and entertainment. Affluent shoppers have been buying linger, feel more comfortable buying, buy more frequently and, of course, spend more money," said Ekaterina O. Walsh, a senior analyst at Forrester. "They buy online for the same reasons for the same reasons that all online buyers do and care about price and positive experiences with Web stores." Forrester recommends that sellers of luxury goods should concentrate on purchasing ease and a convenience return process.

Visitor traffic dips

PC Data Online found that traffic to leading ecommerce sites declined about 4 percent in February following an 18 percent seasonal drop in January. Goldman Sachs analysts cited port-holiday seasonality, a slowdown in the rate on new consumer adopting ecommerce and slower overall consumer spending as the factors in the slower month-by-month growth of Internet retailing. However, this year's figures are up 63 percent over last year. Hey. Did anybody see that? I'll say it again. We're up 63 percent over last year! Some blues.

Features that will keep your sales growing

Other site features such as wish-lists and personalization were found to be less important to shoppers. As a side note, we found a study by the International eRetail Association that listed wish-lists as a tool that works well for building loyalty, so go easy on making assumptions based on Internet studies.

The take-away on all of the recent information about Internet retailing is that it continues to grow rapidly in spite of the gloom that fills the business media. To paraphrase Mark Twain, the rumors of the death of retail ecommerce have been greatly exaggerated.
About the Author


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Rob Spiegel is the author of Net Strategy (Dearborn) and The Shoestring
Entrepreneur's Guide to the Best Home-Based Businesses (St. Martin's Press).
You can reach Rob at spiegelrob@aol.com.


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