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The State of Online Sales

July 13th, 2009 4:25PM by Josh Greene

Every quarter, conducts a survey of online retailers. 2009 is proving to be one of those contrary years, especially in retail — with a  mixture of stops and starts.

59 retailers participated in the Q2 Online Sales Flash Survey. Respondents represented a mix of business type (variations on multichannel, branded manufacturers, pure plays) and annual Web business size. As usual, we asked simply, “How did your gross online sales (top line) for the period April 1, 2009 through June 30, 2009 perform relative to the same period last year”

For more information visit the Web site; following are a few highlights:

  • Fully 59% of retailers surveyed reported that their gross online sales had indeed grown for the quarter compared to the same quarter in 2008. 9% reported flat sales (in this economy, nothing to sneeze at), and one third (32%) reported sales decreases.
  • Average YOY quarterly growth across all retailers surveyed was 11.8%
  • Close to two thirds of large retailers ($100+ million in annual Web sales) reported revenue increases for Q2 2009 vs. Q2 2008. Ditto for mid-sized retailers (defined as between $10 million and $100 million in annual Web sales). Smaller retailers (under $10 million) struggled somewhat more, but half of those surveyed in this segment did in fact realize sales growth.

Internet Share of Ad Spending Increasing

July 7th, 2009 12:57PM by Ronald Wagner

ZenithOptimedia, part of Publicis Groupe: The Internet has performed better than expected this year, Zenith raised its forecasts from 8.6 % to 10.1 % growth this year; by 2011 Internet will have a 15.1% share of advertising spending, from 10.5% last year.

The natural migration of money flowing to media where consumer are spending their time continues. If Zenith’s report is even close, we are talking about a sea change over a very short period (2009 – 2011) that will put some air into the sails of a lot of Internet marketing firms. While display advertising as a share of Internet has dropped (PriceWaterhouseCoopers: in the U.S., display-ad spending is expected to drop to $4.4 billion in 2013 from $4.8 billion in 2008), we expect performance marketing spending as a category of Internet spending to continue to increase dramatically. We also see a shift in venture interest away from purely ad-sponsored models, which should provide additional focus on other practical models.