Now that Christmas 2010 is behind us it’s time to look at just how well the holiday shopping season was for the online crowd. If we are to believe the numbers reported by the Wall Street Journal and MasterCard Advisors it was very merry indeed.
According to a WSJ article there are more than one source reporting an increase
The current year’s increase is “a very healthy growth rate and one of the positive stories of 2010,” said Michael MacNamara, vice president of research and analysis at SpendingPulse.
Sales over the Internet now account for about 10% of all retail sales, excluding purchases of automobiles and gas, according to SpendingPulse.
Other surveys of Internet sales in the holiday period show big gains as well. ComScore Inc., which looks at individuals’ purchases rather than stores’ sales, said Internet buying grew 12% through December 19, to $28.6 billion.
While there is plenty to celebrate there is also some legitimate concern around the issues of sales taxes and online purchases. While reports of online sales may sound nice, state and local governments had a very bad 2010 and are looking for revenue from anywhere they can get it. Since online sales tax has always been a sticking point so don’t think it’s going to go away in 2011. In fact, be prepared to see the battle for more tax dollars heat up considerably, especially after the growth in online business continues to go up rather than slow down.
While we are on the subject what is your take on the future of the online purchase that is currently untaxed? Is that a thing of the past or will it survive these tough times? What kind of impact do you feel it would have if current purchases that do not get taxed are no longer available? Does convenience outweigh the additional dollars that the online purchase would then cost?