October 30, 2008, 12:00 AM

The web’s role heading into the holidays

For both buyers and sellers, the Internet looms as a more important shopping channel. Its impact extends to stores, comScore says.

As consumers adjust to this year’s challenging economy, the online retailing and marketing channels continue to play key roles for both buyers and sellers, comScore Inc. CEO Gian Fulgoni said in a recent presentation, “State of the U.S. Retail Economy.” Economic pressures have slowed the rate of year-over-year growth in online retail spending, which fell to 9% in the second quarter from 22% in Q2 of 2007. But that’s nearly double the 5% Q2 growth rate of offline sales. And, while some web-only retailers like Amazon.com have gained market share, multi-channel retailers as a whole have increased their share of online retail sales at the expense of web-only merchants, comScore says. At the same time, 75% of consumers say the Internet has become more important as a source of information about product pricing.

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