Online Sales Rebound Points To Robust Holiday Season

According to PC Data’s September E-Tailing Report, a significant sales increase over the lackluster summer months is buoying hopes for a lucrative holiday season.

The top twenty e-tailers saw a combined total of 4 million buyers in September, and Amazon.com broke the 1 million mark for the first time. Fifteen of the top 20 retail sites posted double-digit increases over August numbers.

PC Data said the increased sales activity suggests that consumers are growing more comfortable with buying on the Internet and are flooding back online after a relatively slow summer. Cameron Meierhoefer, Internet Research Analyst for PC Data, said he believes the summer slowdown was seasonal and that October figures will show rapid growth in online buying.

“The growth for all top 20 Web retailers was across the board, and this only strengthens the outlook for Internet retailers going into this holiday season,” said Meierhoefer.

Amazon Is Tops

In one month, Amazon grew from 789,000 buyers to over 1 million. “September belonged to Amazon.com,” said Meierhoefer. “It has more buyers than its three biggest competitors (Drugstore.com, Barnesandnoble.com and Buy.com) combined, confirming itself as the undisputed powerhouse in online retailing.”

In addition to Amazon.com, other September winners included number-two e-tailer Drugstore.com, which doubled its September business over August. Barnesandnoble.com grew over 20 percent for the month, and Hallmark.com doubled its sales in September.

A few of the top twenty actually saw a decline from August to September. These sites include Mothernature.com, Planetrx.com, and Gateway.com. Newcomers to the top 20 included Gap.com and Enews.com.

In its calculations, PC Data defines Internet retail sites as Web sites where visitors can actually purchase products. The research excludes sites that provide free downloads, product reviews, coupons, auctions, travel reservations or financial services. The sample PC Data used includes 67,000 home Internet users. The total universe of home buyers is estimated at 63 million.

About PC Data

Headquartered in Reston, Virginia and established in 1991, PC Data provides research on technology. The company produces monthly reports on consumer Internet usage and buying activity. PC Data also tracks computer hardware and software sales.

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