The mouse is gaining on the mall, and that could be good news for your investment portfolio.
Online shopping used to be viewed as a secondary option used by the tech savvy and those too busy to head to the mall. That perception is changing.
This holiday season, more than half of the 116 retailers surveyed (51.4 percent) by BizRate Research anticipate online revenue to grow by more than 30 percent over last holiday season. Consumers themselves also expect to shop at, and spend more of their budgets with, Internet-based merchants. More than 34.7 percent of the 2,695 online shoppers polled by BizRate Research plan to do more of their shopping online than a year ago.
Why? Retailers are finding that as shoppers get more familiar with buying online they seek out Internet stores as an alternative to in-store crowds and restrictive store hours.
Another factor: bargain hunting. In this slowing consumer environment, shoppers are hunting and picking prices before they purchase. More than 36.2 percent of shoppers like the ability to compare prices online and report that items are often easier to find online than in stores (29.9 percent).
Online stores, or “e-tailers”, are responding to these changing consumer preferences by offering more online promotions.
Traditional retailers are also expanding their Internet stores as an additional shopping channel.
The added competition is creating a war for market share between the online and "bricks-and-motar" retailers, and it is also closing the gap between the offerings and forcing the retailers to compete for consumer dollars.