This Christmas shopping season e-commerce has returned with a vengeance. The brick and mortar retail sales have shown a slight increase in the recent past (at 1%), which led some analysts to call the Black Friday, the traditional start of the Christmas shopping rush, “Bleak Friday”. On the other hand, the Internet savvy consumers have been busy buying goods on the net.
According to Forrester, online sales in the United States grew by 13% in 2008 for a total of $141 billion. Online sales are expected to grow by another 11% in 2009. This bodes well for retailers as well as for the express delivery service industry comprising of FedEx, UPS, Purolator, and thousands of other small sized courtiers.
The Economist magazine has recently reported that Internet based retail sales have recently jumped to 6% of all retail sales in the United States. It is expected that by 2013 online sales will account for as high as 8% of all retail sales. In 2008 alone, online sales totalled $60 billion in Europe and $40 billion in Asia.
The shopping channel in Canada is perhaps the leader in online retailing with almost 35% of total retail sales resulting from online orders. The graph below presents daily visits to the shopping channels website. Even though there has been a decline in the visits from a high of 20,000 in January 2009 to approximately 11,000 visits in October 2009, online sales continue to be important for the shopping channel where one in three sales are resulting from customers placing orders through the Internet.