High Gas Prices No Problem for Etailers
By George Anderson
The classic Christmas tune includes the lyrics, “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.”
Well, whether there is a white Christmas or not this year, the one thing online retailers are probably hoping they don’t see coming down this holiday season are gas prices. Turns
out high prices at the pump are good for etailers.
According to a recent study by Shopzilla reported on by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, “40 percent of consumers said high fuel prices made them hop online more often
to shop, rather than hopping in their car.”
“People are trying to take fewer commutes by car,” said Matt Hyde, the senior vice president for merchandising and logistics for REI. The retailer said bicycle sales were up
60 percent in September. The company expects to sell 50,000 bikes this year.
Another change for REI is that more consumers are shopping online, only venturing out to pick up orders. Company spokesperson Mike Foley said 40 percent of REI’s internet sales
are being picked up in stores.
EMarketer projects online sales will increase nearly 22 percent in the fourth quarter to $26.23 billion. “Much of the gain will be driven by shoppers shifting their purchases
online,” according to the organization.
Moderator’s Comment: What do you look for with online sales this holiday season? How should retailers without an online sales presence cope during this
George Anderson – Moderator