E-Commerce All Grown Up, Sales Growth Finally Slows

Internet sales set new records, but rise more slowly than last year
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2007 8:39 PM CST
MasterCard Advisors, a division of the credit card company, estimated that retail sales grew 3.6 percent from Thanksgiving to Christmas, compared with growth rates of 6.6 percent in 2006 and 8.7 percent...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Online sales continued to out-pace traditional retailers this season, boasting a 19% spike, but fell compared to 25-30% growth rates in past seasons, the New York Times reports. While e-tailers beat the scrawny 3.6% sales growth of traditional stores, experts attribute the slowdown to the maturing of online shopping.

“The season met expectations,” said one industry executive, noting that e-commerce “is still a lot stronger and healthier than overall retail growth.” The 19% growth rate was five times that of offline stores; a year ago, online grew about four times faster. Internet shops enticed customers in part with shipping discounts, and analysts said e-shoppers, who traditionally were wealthier, now have more average incomes.