Online Sales Dip in December

Total spending on online sales decreased from $6.4 billion in November to $6.1 billion in December, according to the NRF/Forrester Online Retail Index. Nearly 20 million households shopped online in December, spending an average of $308 per person.

Online jewelry sales experienced the largest increase, soaring from $56 million in November to $179 million in December. Other leading categories included appliances, consumer electronics, garden supplies, and tools and hardware. Online sales of appliances shot from $25 million in November to $52.5 million in December. Consumer electronics rose to $474 million in December, from $259 million in November. Similarly, garden supplies and tools and hardware collectively jumped from $72 million in November to $105 million in December.

“Despite economic uncertainty that continued through December, consumers are still enticed by the power of online shopping,” said James McQuivey, research director at Forrester. “In the near term, this Index will demonstrate that consumers will sustain online retail through uncertain times — online shopping is here to stay.”


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

(in thousands)
Total Spent
in November

(in thousands)
December
Index Results

(Dec/Nov)
Small-Ticket Items
Software $194,672 $207,335 0.94
Books $284,576 $383,341 0.74
Music $215,753 $256,634 0.84
Videos $182,434 $130,021 1.40
Office supplies $122,401 $162,364 0.75
Apparel $501,634 $525,274 0.95
Footwear $93,823 $91,470 1.02
Jewelry $179,572 $56,421 3.18
Flowers $107,016 $81,383 1.31
Linens/Home Decor $124,579 $129,081 0.97
Health and Beauty $154,069 $176,197 0.87
Small appliances $121,037 $92,076 1.31
Toys/Video Games $597,555 $672,798 0.89
Sporting Goods $130,808 $152,482 0.86
Tools and Hardware $76,838 $54,172 1.42
Garden Supplies $28,819 $18,172 1.59
Big-Ticket Items
Computer hardware $547,904 $481,356 1.14
Consumer Electronics $474,135 $259,824 1.82
Appliances $52,458 $25,275 2.07
Furniture $72,663 $55,109 1.32
Food/Beverages $336,184 $305,069 1.10
Airline Tickets $662,962 $1,126,115 0.59
Car Rental $147,147 $275,673 0.53
Hotel Reservations $281,188 $335,918 0.84
Other $456,547 $340,611 1.34
Total Spending $6,164,774 $6,394,170 0.96
Number of Buyers 19,987 22,409
Average Spent per Consumer $308.44 $285.34 1.08
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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