Consumer online retail spending declined slightly in May from April , Forrester Research Inc. and Greenfield Online have reported. Online retail spending in May reached $2.687 billion, down 2.5% from April’s $2.75 billion. May 2001’s spending was up 15.8% from May 2000’s $2.32 billion.
Total consumer spending online in May-including air tickets, hotel reservations and car rentals-reached $3.9 billion, down 10% from April, but up 14.7% from May 2000’s $3.4 billion. The number of households shopping online dropped to 14.8 million in May from 15.7 million in April. Consumers spent an average of $265 per person in May, compared with $273 in April.
Forrester and Greenfield conduct their online spending survey at the beginning of each month, interviewing 5,000 consumers about their previous month’s spending online.
Reflecting the state of the economy, high-ticket and luxury items took big hits in online sales. Computer hardware spending online was down 17.4%, from $368 million in April to $304 million in May. Online furniture spending fell 35% from $88.8 million to $57.7 million. Jewelry spending also dropped 42%, from $104.3 million to $72.8 million.
Other significant declines registered in apparel spending, down 23%, from $290.9 million to $221.9 million; linens and home décor, down 26%, from $87 million to $64 million; and health and beauty, down 40.7% from $172 million to $103 million.
Music and video sales showed significant growth: music up 46% to $150 million and video up 61% to $107 million. Toys and video games grew 42% to $118.3 million. Consumer electronics sales also grew 32% to $203 million. Software sales grew 19% to $127 million.