Oct. 22, 2008
For 2008, Christmas holiday sales are expected to total about $32 billion, up approximately
10 percent from last year. This is a fairly large reduction from growth rates in the low-to-mid
20 percent range seen over the past couple of years.
Today's instability in global financial markets and the nervousness in the overall economy
is placing downward pressure on online sales for this Holiday season.
That pressure accentuates the already declining sales growth, which is a sign of the inevitable maturity of the online
Right now, the main engine of eCommerce growth is incumbent online buyers who are shifting a
greater percentage of their total spending from physical stores to the World Wide Web.
Financially strapped consumers will use a variety of strategies to save money on holiday gifts.
Increasingly, they will turn to the Internet to get gift ideas, find bargains and locate online
retailers that stock desired products. Shoppers will shift a larger share of their purchases
from physical stores to the Web in an effort to save money on gasoline and avail themselves of
retailers’ free shipping offers.
Overall, and according to a recent survey sponsored by ATG and conducted by the e-tailing group,
the spending shift from physical stores to eCommerce sites is expected to continue this holiday season.
For 2008, about 49 percent of holiday gift spending among U.S. Internet users will occur online,
compared with just 44 percent in stores.
Those numbers make this the first time the Internet has surpassed physical stores as the preferred
channel for Web users to purchase holiday gifts.
This article was featured on Business 5.0.
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