The National Retail Federation (NRF) and Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR), in conjunction with Greenfield Online, Inc., today announced the results of the latest NRF/Forrester Online Retail Index. According to the ninth survey in this monthly series, total spending of online sales decreased slightly — by $2.6 million — but the number of online shoppers continued to rise, along with the amount spent on small-ticket items. Fifteen-and-a-half million households shopped online in September, spending a total of $4.2 billion online — an average of $272 per person.
“Total spending on small-ticket items increased from $1.6 billion in August to $1.8 billion in September, while big-ticket items shrunk from $2.6 billion in August to $2.4 billion in September,” said David M. Cooperstein, research director at Forrester. “Consumers are spending more on small-ticket items like apparel and office supplies and less on vacations and other big-ticket items.”
“The data from the September Index clearly indicates that the Internet continues to grow as a shopping channel,” said Scott Silverman, vice president, Internet retailing at NRF. “The significant growth in apparel and office supplies in this month’s Index validates ‘back-to-school’ as a viable online shopping season.”
Although the majority of low-priced, small-ticket items increased, garden supplies experienced the greatest growth — an 82% increase from August to September. Spending on small appliances also experienced a significant increase of 52% from August to September. Music fell from $142 million in August to $133 million in September; videos fell from $103 million to $86 million; sporting goods from $71 million to $63 million; and tools and hardware from $57 million to $50 million.
Online sales decreased in six out of nine big-ticket categories. Furniture led the way, experiencing a 28% decrease — from $45 million in August to $32 million in September. Appliances experienced the biggest rise, with sales jumping from $19 million in August to $29 million in September.
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 9 business days of the month from an online panel developed by Greenfield Online. The survey results for September were fielded from October 2, 2000, through October 10, 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.