Online Retail Grows, But Still Can’t Win

Online retail sales are growing by all accounts—but, paradoxically, this is somehow translated as a negative for the industry, indicating that it’s “immature.”
Of course, there’s the good news:

Online retail sales in the United States jumped 23 percent, to US$28.4 billion, during the third quarter of this year compared with the same July-September period in 2006.

The retail surge was led by sales of video games, consoles and accessories, which showed a year-to-year increase of 199 percent.

And the not-so-good news (emphasis mine):

“Online retail spending continues to grow at rates in excess of 20 percent year-over-year, which suggests that the market is still far from maturity,” comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni said. “Even online travel commerce, which is a more developed market, continues to experience double-digit gains.”

Of course, a lack a maturity in an industry doesn’t mean that it’s more liable to talk back, flounce off to sulk and slam the door behind it. Despite these negative connotations, the immaturity of an industry may only indicate that we can expect a lot more growth spurts from it.

But you know if online retail slowed even the slightest bit—even if its growth were only in the single digits—naysayers would come out of the woodwork from every quadrant to tell us that they knew eCommerce was a fad.

  • http://www.ecommerceoptimization.com eCopt

    Good article and sources Jordan.

    I feel that when people catch up to the technology that eCommerce will finally evolve as it should, until then we are stuck at certain caps and incapable of moving forward. For instance, Mcommerce would be a lot further a long if our Mobile security was up to par and people were caught up on it. Same goes for a lot of Online sellers. Even some of the top 500 have a lot of catch up to do, but many of them are getting better software and more up to date processes. I believe it’s only a matter of time before we break into a whole new world of eCommerce, not the other way around. Thanks for sparking the thoughts and for your insights.

    eCopt

  • http://www.thevanblog.com Steven Bradley

    You mean eCommerce isn’t a fad? Who knew? It’s always funny to me when people somehow think it’s going away any time soon. Can anyone picture a future where people aren’t making purchases online?