Monday, November 24, 2008

Recession special: state of online retailing - US & France

We're starting to get alarming messages from the US and Europe regarding online retail's growth in these tough economic times.

"State of the Union"
On the one hand, according to ComScore, 'Online sales growth barely moves the needle in October in the US': the economic slowdown is starting to seriously affect the online retailing industry.

The latest: Online retail sales in October grew a scant 1% over sales in October 2007. ComScore says it is the lowest monthly growth since it began tracking e-commerce in 2001 and October was the sixth consecutive month of lower growth than the month before.

The decline in growth rate was precipitous, from a height of 28% in August 2007 to 1% only 14 months later. ( - Daily News for Tuesday, November 18, 2008)

At least, it's not as bad as offline retail over there: The U.S. Commerce Department reported that retail sales, which include autos, gasoline stations and restaurants, decreased 3.3% in October from October last year.

Hereunder a table comparing sales and year-on-year growth for offline retail and e-commerce in the US:

Source: US Census Bureau

"News from the Old Continent"

On the other hand, e-commerce growth is also slowing down in France, albeit on a smaller scale: according to Fevad, the French e-commerce and distance-selling federation, year-on-year e-commerce growth for Q3 slowed down to 27% instead of 30% in Q1.

Read the full analysis here at Journal Du Net (in French, sorry...).

But French analysts still foresee this Christmas to be the biggest for e-commerce ever in France. We're even having our first Cybermonday over here on November 24th (10 years in the making!).

Let's wait & see...

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