Back to School Powers Online Shopping

Total spending of online sales increased from $4 billion in July to $4.2 billion in August, according to the NRF/Forrester Online Retail Index.

Apparel and footwear were among two of the largest-growing small-item in August, which we attribute to school starting up again,” said David Cooperstein, research director at Forrester. “On the other hand, online sales of sporting goods, tools and hardware, and garden supplies all decreased from July to August — summer is clearly over.”

Online sales increased in six out of nine big-ticket categories. Computer hardware led the way, experiencing a 14 percent increase from July to August. Appliances experienced the biggest dip, with sales dropping from $50 million in July to $19 million in August.


August 2000 NRF/Forrester Online Retail Index
Category Total Spent
in August

(in thousands)
Total Spent
in July

(in thousands)
August Index
Results

(August/July)
Small-Ticket Items
Software $164,191 $140,151 1.17
Books $197,760 $189,806 1.04
Music $142,145 $125,145 1.14
Videos $103,022 $94,291 1.09
Office supplies $141,457 $149,538 0.95
Apparel $189,996 $165,352 1.15
Footwear $59,044 $49,579 1.19
Jewelry $71,342 $66,079 1.08
Flowers $45,280 $45,225 1.00
Linens/Home Decor $66,011 $55,673 1.19
Health and Beauty $128,063 $122,487 1.05
Small appliances $48,014 $48,121 1.00
Toys/Video Games $124,489 $111,502 1.12
Sporting Goods $71,059 $79,165 0.90
Tools and Hardware $56,583 $57,636 .98
Garden Supplies $22,800 $25,980 .88
Big-Ticket Items
Computer hardware $430,604 $377,499 1.14
Consumer Electronics $209,127 $250,615 0.83
Appliances $19,490 $50,414 0.39
Furniture $45,263 $56,018 0.81
Food/Beverages $138,892 $130,540 1.06
Airline Tickets $731,620 $681,784 1.07
Car Rental $196,707 $196,487 1.00
Hotel Reservations $429,923 $383,130 1.12
Other $390,632 $373,327 1.05
Total Spending $4,223,514 $4,025,544 1.05
Number of Buyers 15,060 13,880 1.08
Average Spent per Consumer $280.41 $290.01 0.97
Source: NRF/Forrester

About the index:
The NRF/Forrester Online Retail Index measures, on a monthly basis, the growth and seasonality of online shopping based on data collected from online shoppers. The Index is based on 5,000 responses to an online panel fielded by Greenfield Online during the first 10 business days of each month. The monthly panel is weighted to Forrester Research’s Benchmark Panel, which surveyed nearly 90,000 US and Canadian members of a consumer mail panel developed by NPD Group. Data was weighed to represent the North American population demographically.

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