Here are the latest stats on Internet sales. Travel is the leading online service. What do you do to promote your service or product online? Let me know . . .
Consumers are becoming more comfortable with using the Internet, and that has led to rising retail sales online. Online sales will top $200 billion this year, up 20 percent from 2005, according to the National Retail Federation’s online division, Shop.org. That’s nearly double what online sales were just three years ago.
Online sales are projected to be $211.4 billion in 2006 vs. $176.4 billion in 2005.
"This is the real growth engine for the retail industry overall," says Scott Silverman, executive director of Shop.org. Retail sales are growing 3 percent a year, vs. double-digit growth online.
The rate of growth is slowing somewhat, however. Sales jumped 51 percent in 2003 from 2002, 24 percent in 2004 and 25 percent in 2005.
Travel is by far the largest type of product bought online, making up nearly one-third of all online purchases, according to the survey of 174 online retailers. Online travel sales hit $62.8 billion in 2005 and are projected to rise an additional 17 percent in 2006.
Buying computer hardware and software online is No.2, and buying autos and auto parts online is No.3. Nearly half (44 percent) of all computers and software sold are sold online, according to the survey.
"Consumer comfort and familiarity with the Internet has been a hurdle to growth in the past," Silverman says. "But people are used to the Internet now, for e-mail and doing research. If you aren’t in that game (as a retailer), you’re at a huge disadvantage."