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.