Online Spending Drops in May

Total spending on online sales decreased from $4.3 billion in April to $3.9 billion in May, according to the NRF/Forrester Online Retail Index. The number of households shopping online dropped to 14.8 million in May from 15.7 million in April. Consumers spent an average of $265 per person in May, compared with $273 in April.

Because of changes made in the Index methodology in April 2000, Forrester did not make year-to-year comparisons, although it was noted that general top-line trends appear stable over that period.


May 2001 NRF/Forrester Online Retail Index
Category Total Spent
in May

(in thousands)
Total Spent
in April

(in thousands)
May
Index Results

(May/April)
Small-Ticket Items
Software $126,934 $106,360 1.19
Books $148,711 $155,070 0.96
Music $150,434 $103,399 1.45
Videos $106,987 $66,466 1.61
Office supplies $113,467 $122,584 0.93
Apparel $221,868 $290,944 0.76
Footwear $58,583 $72,623 0.81
Jewelry $72,798 $104,328 0.70
Flowers $95,444 $63,532 1.50
Linens/Home Decor $64,362 $87,728 0.73
Health and Beauty $102,917 $172,141 0.60
Small appliances $36,008 $89,010 0.40
Toys/Video Games $118,319 $82,964 1.43
Sporting Goods $79,091 $45,342 1.74
Tools and Hardware $49,327 $36,465 1.35
Garden Supplies $35,334 $51,887 0.68
Big-Ticket Items
Computer hardware $304,450 $368,328 0.83
Consumer Electronics $202,967 $154,285 1.32
Appliances $36,215 $3,943 9.19
Furniture $57,644 $88,790 0.65
Food/Beverages $133,634 $126,716 1.05
Airline Tickets $698,381 $776,259 0.90
Car Rental $173,945 $246,969 0.70
Hotel Reservations $367,410 $358,600 1.04
Other $372,410 $358,600 1.04
Total Spending $3,927,834 $4,286,384 0.92
Number of Buyers 14,815 15,691 0.94
Average Spent per Consumer $265.13 $273.18 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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