Bullish Reports on Internet Sales
Jim Milliot -- 12/4/00

Sales over the Internet was the subject of two recently released reports, one measuring e-commerce sales in the third quarter and a second estimating online sales for the holiday period.

According to preliminary figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau, estimated e-commerce sales for the third quarter were $6.37 billion, a 15.3% increase over sales in this year's second quarter. With total retail sales falling 0.4% in the quarter, e-commerce sales represented 0.78% of total sales in the most recent period, compared to 0.68% in the second quarter.

In a study issued early last month by the NPD Group, the research firm predicted that online sales in the November/December period will hit $12.5 billion, double the sales in the comparable period in 1999. The report further notes that 38% of Internet users said they plan to buy a book online over the holiday season, making books the top product category in terms of number of buyers; travel reservations was the leading category in terms of dollar volume. On average, online holiday book buyers will buy four books via the Internet in November/December, with 71% of books bought online intended as gifts.

The study, NPD Online Holiday e-Visionary Report, also found that is the site that most online buyers plan to use to make a purchase. More respondents said that they intend to purchase from Amazon than from, and, the second, third and fourth most popular sites respectively, combined.