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Toy Industry Internet Sales Skyrocket Over 2002 Holiday Season
By Scott Ferguson
May 1, 2003

Toy manufacturers and retailers may be wringing their hands over the lackluster holiday season, but Internet sales figures for toys and games for the fourth quarter of 2002 showed a whopping increase of nearly 129% since the start of the Holiday Season. The figure is up 40% over the same period last year, with total online sales for 2002 reaching 47.98 billion.

Internet consumers were driven by the comfort and convenience of online shopping as well as price breaks. Nielsen-Netratings reported a 44% overall increase in online shopping activity during the 2002 Holiday season, with enticing promotional offers and free shipping luring record numbers of consumers.

Fifty-nine percent of online shoppers relate that they were highly satisfied with their experience, and 79% say they will be back next year, according to a study released by ForeSee Results.

Women now account for 60% of e-commerce sales, up 50% from 2001. In 1998, women comprised only 39 % of online purchasers, according to e-commerce researchers Biz.rate.

What does all this mean?

Traditional retail stores with a Web presence reported seeing a significant rise in holiday sales compared to past years. According to ForeSee Results CEO Larry Freed, these e-tailers could have the 2003 holiday season already wrapped up—if they can improve a few key elements, such as product browsing and ordering capability.

Overall Internet purchases for 2002 were up 37% by year’s end, according to the BizRate.com announcement, with online sales reaching $7.92 billion for November and December 2002—even with six fewer holiday shopping days than the previous year.

With reduced or free shipping and the ease of last-minute comparison shopping, it’s no wonder more and more consumers are avoiding parking hassles and visiting the cyber-mall instead.


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