Though holiday sales were lower than expected for many high volume players, traffic to their web sites was way up. According to Media Metrix, New York, which tracks consumers’ online traffic patterns, unique visitors to many department and discount stores’ sites grew as much as 200% in some cases in 2000.
Retail Internet analysts chalk up consumers’ online interests partly to poor weather conditions in the Midwest and consumers shopping later during the season.
Evie Black Dykema, senior analyst, online retail, Forrester Research, Cambridge, Mass., claims brick and mortar retailers with cross-channel means at their disposal closed 300% of their 1999 sales in 2000. ‘The Internet will provide some immunity from an economic downturn because of tax-free purchases, price-comparison shopping sites, and liquidation merchandise,’ says Dykema. Cheap, targeted email marketing campaigns will also help keep brick and mortar retailers online.
According to the National Retail Federation and Forrester Research Retail Indicator, online jewelry sales totaled $952,172 in 2000. Forrester expects Internet jewelry sales to grow to $8.9 billion in 2005.-Jennifer Heebner
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Source: Media Metrix, New York