February 2009

Report: Online retail could reach $156B in 2009 (AP)

Online retail sales will likely keep climbing in 2009, even in the recession.

According to projections from Forrester Research, U.S. online retail sales are expected to rise 11 percent to $156 billion this year, excluding revenue from travel. However, that will mark a slowdown in the overall growth rate, which was 13 percent in 2008, when online retail sales totaled $141 billion, Forrester says.

Forrester analyst Sucharita Mulpuru said the majority of the 2009 growth in online spending will come at the expense of physical stores. She expects more consumer dollars to be spent online because it's easier for people to comparison shop and to find what they're looking for.

Online sales are expected to make up 7 percent of overall retail revenue in 2009, compared with 6 percent in 2008.

Forrester arrives at its projections by extrapolating from the results on mail and online surveys that ask consumers about their shopping and spending habits. The 2009 online retail sales estimate is part of a broader set of projections due to be released Monday.

As online sales continue to grow, are you doing enough to market your business online? Performing Search Engine Marketing (SEM) for your website can substantially increase your site traffic and convert visitors into buyers. Contact Mountain Media today to learn more about how we can help.

Internet Marketing Insights

Mobile phone users may soon represent a new market for etailers

Two things are happening in and around the Internet that will present a marketing opportunity for some ecommerce web sites in the near future. The first trend is that the Internet is evolving, diversifying, and growing at an incredible speed. At the same time, Internet users are not only adapting to new technology, but are increasingly relying on it. Case in point: President Obama's addiction to his BlackBerry device. In a culture where Smartphones and Global Positioning Systems are considered essential devices to millions of people, it's no surprise that Internet users are demanding more of a multi-media, portable experience.

To keep pace with rapid changes in both technology and consumer behavior, many ecommerce business owners may soon need to adapt their marketing strategy. A prime example is the way mobile phone users are increasingly connecting to the Internet to find information, local retail outlets, restaurants, transportation options, and entertainment. Google, Yahoo, Live Search, and AOL have already created special versions of their search engine for the mobile market, and there's at least one portal (mobile.sputtr.com) that provides results from several search engines to mobile device users.

There are many things that can be done to make ecommerce sites easier to navigate and more accessible for mobile phone users. Mountain Media has begun evaluating the guidelines created by the W3C, an international consortium that was formed in 1994 to help ensure long-term, cohesive growth for the Web. The overriding theme in these guidelines appears to be that "simpler is better," in terms of website structure and content. One of the consortium's main messages is that "Web users on the go want compact information when time is short and distractions many."

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