December Rakes in the E-Commerce Dough

Total U.S. spending on online sales increased from $4.9 billion in November to $5.7 billion in December, according to the NRF/Forrester Online Retail Index. The number of households shopping online increased to 18.7 million in December from 16.8 million in November. Consumers spent an average of $304 per person in December, compared with $293 in November.

Forrester says that online retail sales for December 2000 totaled $5.0 billion, while total 2000 sales were $42.4 billion. Total 2001 sales reached $47.6 billion.

The Forrester Online Retail Index measures the growth and seasonality of online shopping based on data collected from online shoppers. It is based on 5,000 responses fielded from an online panel from Jan. 3 to Jan. 9, 2002.


December 2001 NRF/Forrester Online Retail Index
Category Total Spent
in Dec.

(in thousands)
Total Spent
in Nov.

(in thousands)
Oct.
Index Results

(Dec./Nov.)
Small-Ticket Items
Software $185,440 $165,020 1.12
Books $280,229 $192,183 1.46
Music $233,058 $177,935 1.31
Videos $191,983 $135,211 1.42
Office supplies $105,439 $131,110 0.80
Apparel $484,027 $405,439 1.19
Footwear $115,899 $100,055 1.16
Jewelry $171,992 $116,796 1.47
Flowers $65,493 $74,805 0.88
Linens/Home Decor $134,732 $106,548 1.26
Health and Beauty $152,913 $116,064 1.32
Small appliances $79,053 $70,494 1.12
Toys/Videogames $474,676 $306,298 1.55
Sporting Goods $124,286 $94,742 1.31
Tools and Hardware $101,357 $52,220 1.94
Garden Supplies $22,408 $21,336 1.05
Big-Ticket Items
Computer hardware $512,920 $388,402 1.32
Consumer Electronics $412,745 $316,731 1.30
Appliances $35,904 $55,664 0.65
Furniture $68,216 $70,919 0.96
Food/Beverages $174,477 $153,837 1.13
Airline Tickets $631,130 $690,635 0.91
Car Rental $135,039 $135,276 1.00
Hotel Reservations $311,119 $339,609 0.92
Other $480,361 $513,884 0.93
Total Spending $5,684,895 $4,931,215 1.15
Number of Buyers 18,693 16,814 1.11
Average Spent per Consumer $304.12 $293.28 1.04
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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