The economy is hitting ecommerce hard. Ecommerce has finally been struck by negative growth and the future is not cheerful.
Third quarter 2009 research from internet research firm comScore indicates that retail spending for online purchases was $29.6 billion, a decrease of fell 2% over the same quarter last year.
This was the first time that consecutive quarters showed a negative in ecommerce spending. The company predicts a marginally positive growth for the 4th quarter 2009 holiday shopping but whether that will really occur is anybody’s guess.
The most crucial incentive for online retailers to entice buyers to purchase is free shipping and more retailers than ever are pushing free shipping. The percentage of e-commerce payments that included free shipping increased from 31% in the 1st quarter of 2008 to 42% in the 3rd quarter of 2009.
Ecommerce companies that do not offer free shipping this holiday season will find themselves at a significant disadvantage. Customers will leave their sites and buy from a retailer where shipping is free.
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