April 1, 2009, 12:00 AM

Online retailers see some bright spots amid the downturn

Helped by Valentine’s Day, online retailers enjoyed somewhat better results in February compared with January.

As the economy struggles to get back on track, online retailers are getting some upticks in shopping activity. But results are mixed. With a boost from Valentine’s Day, completed order sessions went up 23% for online gifts retailers and 15% for jewelry e-retailers in February over January, while average order values increased a modest 4% for gifts retailers and fell 14.3% for jewelers, according to data compiled by analytics technology vendor Coremetrics from 300 retailer clients. Department stores recorded a 10% drop in completed order sessions in February over January, but a 13.4% rise in average order value. Overall, the online retailers in the Coremetrics report registered a 3.7% increase in average order values in February over January, with all but jewelry and general merchandise e-retailers showing increases. February average order value at eBay, at $28.02, was flat from a year earlier and down 18% from $34.35 in November, according to Compete Inc.

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