The National Retail Federation (NRF) and Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR), in conjunction with Greenfield Online, today announced the results of the latest NRF/Forrester Online Retail Index. According to the fifth survey in a monthly series, flowers and linens/home décor bloomed, despite a decrease in overall spending per consumer. The Index also revealed increases in several big-ticket categories, including appliances, furniture, and car rentals.
“It comes as no surprise that Mother’s Day contributed to the significant increase in flower sales — leaping from $54 million in April to $72 million in May,” said David M. Cooperstein, research director at Forrester. “As the number of consumers shopping online continues to increase, so does the number of categories in which they shop — the days of buying only books, music, and software are long over.”
The May NRF/Forrester Index also reveals a decrease in spending on several small-ticket items, including, music, apparel, and toys/videogames. The music category dropped from $104 million in April to $72 million in May; apparel fell from $173 million to $153 million; and spending on toys/videogames sank from $90 million to $75 million. Offsetting these convenience categories are appliances, furniture, and car rentals, which were the largest growing big-ticket categories. Spending on appliances leapt from $13 million in April to $26 million in May; furniture went from $30 million to $50 million; and car rental sales expanded from $124 million in April to $182 million in May.
Total spending increased from $3.2 billion in April to more than $3.3 billion in May, with the average spent per consumer decreasing from $256 to $249.
“We look forward to using the NRF/Forrester Index to map how online retail is affected by the seasons, as well as various holidays,” said Scott Silverman, NRF’s vice president, Internet retailing. “Due to holiday vacations, summer is typically a slower time for some brick-and-mortar retailers. In light of the online shopping boom, it will be interesting to see how these historical shopping patterns play out on the Internet.
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 during the first 10 business days of the month from an online panel developed by Greenfield Online. The survey results for April 2000 were fielded from May 1 through May 15, 2000.
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, a market research firm. Data was weighted to demographically represent the North American population. The survey was fielded from late November 1999 to February 2000.
About The National Retail Federation
The National Retail Federation is the world’s largest retail trade association with membership that encompasses all retail formats and channels of distribution including department, specialty, discount, catalog, Internet, and independent stores. NRF members represent an industry that encompasses more than 1.4 million US retail establishments, employs more than 20 million people — about 1 in 5 American workers — and registered 1999 sales of $3.0 trillion. NRF’s international members operate stores in more than 50 nations. In its role as the retail industry’s umbrella group, NRF also represents 32 national and 50 state associations in the US as well as 36 international associations representing retailers abroad. The Index can be found on the National Retail Federation Web site at www.nrf.com.
About Greenfield Online
Greenfield Online, Inc. is a totally Internet-enabled, full-service marketing research provider. The company’s core business is to conduct online custom consumer and business-to-business studies that are faster, better, and richer than traditional marketing research. Greenfield’s Digital Consumer™ tracking studies examine e-commerce subjects and important vertical markets. Incorporated in 1995, Greenfield Online is headquartered in Wilton, Conn., with a satellite office in San Francisco. For additional information about Greenfield Online and its services, please visit the company’s Web site at www.greenfield.com.