BizRate: Online Sales Near Normal

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BizRate.com, Los Angeles, reported that as of Sept. 24 spending at retail Web sites had nearly rebounded to levels recorded before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks against the United States.


Also, the comparison-shopping site predicted that "the e-commerce industry will sustain healthy growth rates into the fourth quarter," generating $11.55 billion in online sales. This would produce a 25 percent year-over-year increase. BizRate.com expects 33 percent of all 2001 online sales to be generated during the fourth quarter.


BizRate.com provided online sales totals for several dates, including: $92.41 million for Sept. 10; $56.29 million for Sept. 11; $82.49 million for Sept. 17; and $89.68 million for Sept. 24.


Additional data include:


· The computer software category generated $8.08 million in online sales Sept. 24, a 43 percent increase compared with Sept. 10.


· Big-ticket sectors such as computer hardware are not rebounding as quickly. Sales volume of $16.57 million was reported for Sept. 24, accounting for 88 percent of corresponding sales on Sept. 10.


· Sales losses for the food and wine, sports and outdoors and the apparel categories totaled 62 percent, 37 percent and 34 percent, respectively, on Sept. 11. However, sales rose above pre-attack (Sept. 4-10) levels by 137 percent, 113 percent and 107 percent, respectively, for the week ending Sept. 24.


· The gifts and flowers category recorded a 62 percent loss Sept. 11. Growth of 33 percent was experienced from Sept. 11 to Sept. 12.


· E-tailers are watching closely key trends identified by BizRate.com, including:


· Women, who accounted for 55 percent of online shoppers last year compared with 39 percent in 1998.


· Customer service, as three of five barriers to repeat purchase intent are customer service-related -- late delivery, poor customer support and no or poor order tracking.


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