E-Commerce Shows Slight Gains in August

Total U.S. spending on online sales increased from $3.98 billion in July slightly more than $4 billion in August, according to the NRF/Forrester Online Retail Index. The number of households shopping online increased to 14.8 million in July from 14.7 million in July. Consumers spent an average of $273 per person in August, compared with $270 in July.

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 Sept. 4 to Sept. 10, 2001.

“It is impressive that online shopping made such a quick comeback after a big drop in June,” said Christoper Kelley, an analyst at Forrester. “It appears that many consumers may have taken their tax refund checks and gone online to get ready for school or to buy a hard-earned gift for themselves.”


August 2001 NRF/Forrester Online Retail Index
Category Total Spent
in Aug.

(in thousands)
Total Spent
in June

(in thousands)
July
Index Results

(Aug./July)
Small-Ticket Items
Software $121,727 $112,759 1.01
Books $202,494 $151,561 1.33
Music $124,185 $118,318 1.04
Videos $92,582 $109,814 0.84
Office supplies $108,375 $82,716 1.31
Apparel $262,642 $224,743 1.16
Footwear $71,880 $67,656 1.06
Jewelry $76,999 $88,198 0.87
Flowers $37,922 $38,777 0.97
Linens/Home Decor $82,344 $72,479 1.13
Health and Beauty $96,715 $121,444 0.79
Small appliances $47,559 $35,620 1.34
Toys/Videogames $111,574 $162,449 0.69
Sporting Goods $75,211 $92,005 0.82
Tools and Hardware $44,648 $28,884 1.55
Garden Supplies $22,767 $16,961 1.34
Big-Ticket Items
Computer hardware $353,960 $335,784 1.05
Consumer Electronics $143,220 $191,878 0.76
Appliances $22,439 $45,704 0.49
Furniture $25,821 $46,740 0.55
Food/Beverages $100,578 $88,680 1.13
Airline Tickets $742,574 $746,170 0.99
Car Rental $178,824 $188,620 0.95
Hotel Reservations $458,372 $445,186 1.02
Other $437,984 $365,567 1.19
Total Spending $4,043,369 $3,978,713 1.02
Number of Buyers 14,828 14,721 1.01
Average Spent per Consumer $272.69 $270.27 1.01
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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