New York Times: has 'Internet fatigue' set in for e-commerce?

A new report out of the Sunday New York Times says that Internet-based retail sales in many categories have peaked, and may even be slipping."...

A new report out of the Sunday New York Times says that Internet-based retail sales in many categories have peaked, and may even be slipping.

"...in the last year, growth has slowed sharply in major sectors like books, tickets and office supplies. Growth in online sales has also dropped dramatically in diverse categories like health and beauty products, computer peripherals and pet supplies. Analysts say it is a turning point and growth will continue to slow through the decade."

Why? The article says things may have reached their saturation point, with total sales of $116 billion this year, or five percent of all retail sales, "making it harder to maintain the same high growth rates."

The report also notes that "consumers seem to be experiencing Internet fatigue and are changing their buying habits." Interestingly, the article echoed the sentiments of at least a few consumers, who see online shopping as "more of a chore than an escape."

Many stores have also improved their physical sites, providing for more stimulating shopping experiences for customers.

Ultimately, many online retailers have been moving toward more hybrid approaches, emphasizing multiple channels.

Plus, as John Morgan, economics professor at University of California Berkeley, observes, online commerce remains less than one percent of the overall economy, and thus, “there’s still a lot of head room for people to grow." Stay tuned.

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