Online Sales Still Key To Retail Success: Study - InformationWeek

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Online Sales Still Key To Retail Success: Study

Get your butt on the Internet or quit your whining about losses this year. If you want to get the shoppers in your store, you have to win them on the Web first, according to a new report from Andersen Consulting.

Andersen Consulting studied the purchasing trends of almost 2,000 consumers and found that half of U.S. Internet users will have bought at least one holiday gift online this holiday season, up from 36% who bought online last year.

Almost 40% of the respondents say they'll have spent more online this year than they did last year. And if they're not making the actual purchase on the Internet, many will use the Web to seek gift ideas. "The Internet has not only become a purchasing vehicle but also a decision-making tool," says Angela Selden, Andersen Consulting's retail-practice managing partner. "Those that don't have a Web presence need to do it, and those that do have a Web presence better have a brick-and-mortar store."

Leading the spending charge: For the first time, toys outnumbered books for Internet buyers, with clothes, music, and electronics rounding out the top five. While Andersen Consulting says E-commerce is a must for retailers, there's no need to rush into wirelessness just yet. Only 2% of the consumers will buy via mobile devices this year.

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