Last modified on Thursday, 30 October 2008 02:23
Online retailers are reporting that punters are staying away from their sites in droves.
Analyst Hitwise, which monitors 500 retail Web sites, said that consumer pessimism toward the current economic climate was resulting in a weekly decline. Traffic dropped three percent for the week ending October 25 compared with the same week a year ago. Visits to Hitwise's Retail 500 Index were up 14 percent from June through August compared with the same period in 2007, but then declined 4 percent in September.
Heather Dougherty, research director at Hitwise said the declines would have strong implications for the upcoming online holiday season as well as offline sales. Music retailers saw sales fall by 21 percent. Computers saw the second greatest decline at 18 percent, followed by ticketing at 12 percent. Toys and hobbies saw a decline of 10 percent, as did video and games.