E-Commerce

E-COMMERCE….Will online sales ever reach the 10-15% of total retail sales that Jeff Bezos has predicted? Maybe, but apparently it’s going to take a while:

Since the inception of the Web, online commerce has enjoyed hypergrowth, with annual sales increasing more than 25 percent over all, and far more rapidly in many categories. But in the last year, growth has slowed sharply in major sectors like books, tickets and office supplies.

Growth in online sales has also dropped dramatically in diverse categories like health and beauty products, computer peripherals and pet supplies. Analysts say it is a turning point and growth will continue to slow through the decade.

….Sales on the Internet are expected to reach $116 billion this year, or 5.2 percent of all retail sales, making it harder to maintain the same high growth rates….Analysts project that by 2011, online sales will account for nearly 7 percent of overall retail sales.

On the other hand, after only a decade online sales already outpace mail order. That’s not bad, unless you were one of the people who lost your life savings betting on e-grocery deliveries in the 90s.

How much do you spend online? More or less than 5.2% of your total retail purchases? I’m pretty sure it’s less for me, which might be because (a) I’m old and stodgy, (b) I don’t buy very much stuff in the first place, (c) I’m too impatient to wait for deliveries, (d) I like to see things before I buy them, or (e) I live in an urban area and can buy practically anything at a competitive price with no more than a ten minute drive. Or maybe all of the above. Then again, maybe if I thought harder about it I’d realize that all those airline tickets, hotel bookings, and sewing supplies add up to more than I think.