November Brings Increase in E-Commerce Activity

Total U.S. spending on online sales increased from $3.6 billion in October to $4.9 billion in November, according to the NRF/Forrester Online Retail Index. The number of households shopping online increased to 16.8 million in November from 13.7 million in October. Consumers spent an average of $293 per person in November, compared with $265 in October.

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 Dec. 3 to Dec. 10, 2001.

“While zero percent financing deals got people to shop offline in October, people shifted their attention to purchasing holiday gifts in November,” said Christopher Kelley, Forrester analyst. “In doing so, they went online to seek out the best deals they could in an attempt to stretch their dollars as far as possible.”


November 2001 NRF/Forrester Online Retail Index
Category Total Spent
in Oct.

(in thousands)
Total Spent
in Sept.

(in thousands)
Oct.
Index Results

(Nov./Oct.)
Small-Ticket Items
Software $165,020 $121,920 1.35
Books $192,183 $149,818 1.28
Music $177,935 $126,589 1.41
Videos $135,211 $84,895 1.59
Office supplies $131,110 $102,215 1.28
Apparel $405,439 $284,003 1.43
Footwear $100,055 $72,367 1.38
Jewelry $116,796 $84,436 1.38
Flowers $74,805 $60,111 1.24
Linens/Home Decor $106,548 $89,885 1.19
Health and Beauty $116,064 $95,914 1.21
Small appliances $70,494 $54,255 1.30
Toys/Videogames $306,298 $124,115 2.47
Sporting Goods $94,742 $69,430 1.36
Tools and Hardware $52,220 $56,207 0.93
Garden Supplies $21,336 $20,785 1.03
Big-Ticket Items
Computer hardware $388,402 $386,007 1.10
Consumer Electronics $316,731 $225,923 1.40
Appliances $55,664 $58,393 0.95
Furniture $70,919 $71,563 0.99
Food/Beverages $153,837 $85,908 1.79
Airline Tickets $690,635 $485,840 1.42
Car Rental $135,276 $123,462 1.20
Hotel Reservations $339,609 $282,463 1.20
Other $513,884 $317,873 1.62
Total Spending $4,931,215 $3,634,374 1.36
Number of Buyers 16,814 13,722 1.23
Average Spent per Consumer $293.28 $264.86 1.11
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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