December 23, 2003, 12:00 AM

Documenting channel shift, from stores to web

The latest eSpending report from Goldman, Sachs, Harris Interactive and Nielsen/NetRatings quantifies channel shift and reports it’s not just remote buyers moving from paper to online--a significant number are moving from stores to the web.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor


It’s apparent that retail channel shift is taking place as online sales grow at a faster pace than total retail sales. The latest eSpending report from Goldman, Sachs & Co., Harris Interactive and Nielsen/NetRatings quantifies the shift and reports that it’s not just remote buyers moving from paper to a more convenient way of shopping--a significant number are moving their shopping from stores to the web.

The eSpending report surveys consumers weekly through the holiday shopping season. For November through the first week of December, 6,000 respondents reported the proportion of gift dollars they were spending online, in stores and through catalogs.

The results: Consumers are spending 20.8% of their gift dollars online this year vs. 16.5% last year; 72.7% in stores vs. 75.8%; and 6.8% via catalogs vs. 7.4%.

“It’s a significant change,” says Lori Iventosch-James, director of e-commerce research for Harris Interactive. “It’s almost directly coming from stores. That indicates the level of comfort that people have shopping online.”

“Online retailers has seen a strong season so far,” said Abha Bhagat, senior analyst, Nielsen/NetRatings. “The higher levels of customer satisfaction and increased consumer spending online point to the fact that the online channel is no longer a disruptive technology medium but another mainstream channel through which retailers reach out to customers.”



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