2009 brought financial turmoil for a lot of people. As many industries found themselves experiencing record low sales, retailers online in the United States experienced a 3% increase from 2008, in the last quarter of the year. Online retailers in 2008 completed $38 billion in sales, but according to a study completed by comScore, a marketing research company that focuses on online sales, in 2009, online retailers were able to complete transactions that added up to $39 billion in the fourth quarter of the year.
2009 ended with a bang by delivering increased sales, even though overall sales for the year was slightly lower than they were the previous year. 2008 accumulated $130.1 billion and in 2009, online sales only reached $129.8 billion despite a recession. Big names in online retail, like Amazon.com and Walmart, tried to influence sales by offering customers special discounted pricing and free shipping. This was most effective in the holiday season, when 40% of the quarter’s sales were completed. These tactics made it possible to increase the amount of buyers online, but the overall value of the purchases online shoppers completed declined.
2010 isn’t expected to be a record breaking year for online sales. The unemployment rate in the United States is still staggeringly high and people are being very conscientious about budgeting their money, which means they are eliminating frivolous spending on online shopping sprees. Consumers are being careful with their money because our country’s financial situation is unstable. Our economy still needs to be drastically repaired before people have the money to shop online. With the ability to easily find deals online and the ease of being able to compare pricing between merchants, online shopping is expected to do as well as any other means of transactions, but it is highly unlikely that it will match the numbers that it generated in 2008 and 2009.