According to a Quarterly Online Sales Flash Survey sponsored by Shop.org and Forrester, 58 percent of web retailers reported a year-over-year sales increase, indicating that perhaps the corner has been turned in the economic mire retail has found itself stuck in. In addition, 13 percent reported flat sales for the same period. The survey was conducted April 1-3.
The question posed, "How did your online sales (top line) for the period January 1, 2009, through March 31, 2009, perform relative to the same period last year (Jan. 1 through March 31, 2008)?"
By retail segment, 69 percent of multichannel retailers and branded manufacturers reported increased sales. Thirty-nine percent of online-only retailers increased sales and 22 percent reported flat growth. Large retailers (defined as $100 million+ in annual web sales) performed the best according to the survey -- 87 percent reported increased web sales. Approximately half of medium ($10 million to $100 million in annual web sales) and small ($0 to $10 million) retailers also realized increases.
The survey also asked for trend comments, which were voluntary. One most notable trend appears to be increased sales in March compared to January and February of this year, perhaps indicating the consumer spending freeze is beginning to thaw -- somewhat.