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Ecommerce: Market Trends, Analysis and Observations

What's going on?

     
4:42 am on Jun 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I generally don't put a lot of faith in threads that generalize either negative or positive but sales have taken a really unusual and dramatic downturn in the last week or so. It's been weird enough that I'm curious what others are seeing. As I say, sales have slowed way down but traffic seems to be near normal. I even got a call from one of my suppliers asking if something was wrong that they should know about. They said that their sales had dropped off pretty dramatically from all of their retailers.

Are others seeing this as well? Is it gas prices, the season or what?

9:46 pm on June 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Manufacturers who have not discounted prices within at least the last 5-10 years are doing so now. A sure sign of slowing sales.
9:55 pm on June 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'm not looking forward to any deals from any of my manufacturers in our industry. They're all raising prices to offset higher costs.

Oh, and our necessities are still selling well, but the luxuries aren't. Pretty much what others are seeing.

5:45 pm on July 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Just discovered this thread while looking for something that might indicate why, from about July 1, while traffic has actually increased slightly, sales have dropped off quite dramatically.

I was wondering if there was some technical reason for this, maybe a problem with my site, but then why would traffic be up? Perhaps it is general gloom as many of you have been commenting.

Pessimism and belt-tightening might account for some of this, but would people even be surfing e-commerce sites if they had no intention of buying?

1:46 am on July 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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First quarter was awesome, 60 % gain over last year. Second quarter was 40% drop from last year, like hitting a brick wall. I have had to lay off two people with two more waiting in the wings.
1:47 am on July 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Pessimism and belt-tightening might account for some of this, but would people even be surfing e-commerce sites if they had no intention of buying?

because they still have the same desires, even if they don't have the same cash?

2:45 pm on July 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Pessimism and belt-tightening might account for some of this, but would people even be surfing e-commerce sites if they had no intention of buying?

Looking is free, save for the cost of their internet access. Why not see what items cost on the internet; you save the cost of gas and a trip out. I am sure some of the "window shoppers" do intend to purchase...when things get better.

The industry I am in is prone to people shopping/information gathering. I might see two weeks pass before a vistor converts into a sale because they need to figure out measurements, specifications, how different items interact, etc. With times being tough, it wouldn't suprise me if this habit spreads to other industries to become more prevalent; people's needs and desires have not slowed at a pace to match their income. So they will do more "shopping" and less purchasing; and when they make purchases it will be better thought out and researched. Price shopping plays heavily into this mindset. They want to see as many prices for the same item as they can to ensure they get the most for their money. Maybe that's just the economist in me making assumptions, though.

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