E-Commerce Times Talkback
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The U.S. economy was not kind to offline retailers during the 2002 holiday season: They saw the smallest revenue gains in more than 30 years. But e-commerce, which tended to overpromise and underperform during the Internet bubble as many Web-only outfits stumbled over fulfillment and customer service hurdles, showed considerable strength in the same holiday period. Is online selling in the midst of a renaissance, and will it emerge with a new starring role as the economy recovers?
The reason non e-commerce retailers did so poorly in the holidays, is they were greedy. Items on 'sale' had minimal markdowns and consumers knew it. We did a poll in various large retailers, and over 95% of consumers stated that sale prices did not reflect an earnest desire on the part of retailers to move merchandise. Thus, most held back on purchases because they knew the sales were not good enough. If retailers are smart enough to pick up on what their customers really want, they will act accordingly and reap the benefits. Otherwise, they experience obvious lack of sales.