Online Spending Dips in September

Total spending of online sales decreased slightly, by $2.6 million, in September, but the number of online shoppers continued to rise, along with the amount spent on small-ticket items, according to the NRF/Forrester Online Retail Index.

Although the majority of low-priced, small-ticket items increased, garden supplies experienced the greatest growth — an 82 percent increase from August to September. Spending on small appliances also experienced a significant increase of 52 percent from August to September. Music fell from $142 million in August to $133 million in September; videos fell from $103 million to $86 million; sporting goods from $71 million to $63 million; and tools and hardware from $57 million to $50 million.

Online sales decreased in six out of nine big-ticket categories. Furniture led the way, experiencing a 28 percent decrease — from $45 million in August to $32 million in September. Appliances experienced the biggest rise, with sales jumping from $19 million in August to $29 million in September.


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

(in thousands)
Total Spent
in August

(in thousands)
September
Index Results

(September/August)
Small-Ticket Items
Software $163,735 $164,191 1.00
Books $219,870 $197,760 1.11
Music $132,516 $142,145 0.93
Videos $85,605 $103,022 0.83
Office supplies $164,953 $141,457 1.17
Apparel $256,243 $189,996 1.35
Footwear $61,159 $59,044 1.04
Jewelry $92,070 $71,342 1.29
Flowers $55,802 $45,280 1.23
Linens/Home Decor $88,773 $66,011 1.34
Health and Beauty $139,541 $128,063 1.09
Small appliances $72,934 $48,014 1.52
Toys/Video Games $157,641 $124,489 1.27
Sporting Goods $62,876 $71,059 0.88
Tools and Hardware $49,752 $56,583 .88
Garden Supplies $41,600 $22,800 1.82
Big-Ticket Items
Computer hardware $315,644 $430,604 0.73
Consumer Electronics $164,694 $209,127 0.79
Appliances $29,358 $19,490 1.51
Furniture $32,421 $45,263 0.72
Food/Beverages $165,128 $138,892 1.19
Airline Tickets $686,377 $731,620 0.94
Car Rental $171,579 $196,707 0.87
Hotel Reservations $368,466 $429,923 0.86
Other $442,161 $390,632 1.13
Total Spending $4,220,898 $4,223,514 1.00
Number of Buyers 15,500 15,060 1.03
Average Spent per Consumer $272.42 $280.41 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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