Direct Sales Increase; Traditional Channels to See Decline, Survey Finds

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The percentage of households that shop via traditional direct sales channels like catalogs and mail-order will decline during the coming decade even as direct sales overall increase substantially, according to a survey released yesterday.


Fueled by rapid increases in e-commerce and in grocery delivery, sales of products and services delivered directly to the home could account for as much as 24 percent of all retail sales by 2010, according to the study, which was released by Peppers and Rogers Group, Stamford, CT, and the Institute for the Future. Products and services delivered directly to the home will total between $438 billion and $1.1 trillion in 2010, vs. $190 billion in 1998, the survey reported.


Although the percentage of households using traditional offline direct channels will drop from 67 percent today to 50 percent in 2010, the percent of households using ordering products online and ordering home delivery of groceries will triple, to 33 percent, from 11 percent. The number of households using e-commerce and grocery delivery services regularly will increase to 29 million, from 6 million today.


The study, which surveyed more than 2,500 households and 500 teenagers, found that about 75 percent of U.S. consumers have used at least one direct-to-consumer channel to order products and services remotely for direct delivery to the home.


The study was sponsored in part by the Direct Marketing Association, the Grocery Manufacturers of America, Federal Express and several consumer-product companies, including Ford and Procter & Gamble.
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