BIG-TICKET ITEMS ADVANCE ONLINE SALES IN MARCH
Online shopping topped $3 billion in March as big-ticket items, such as computer hardware and electronics, and travel-related purchased fueled growth, according to an online retail index created by the National Retail Federation and Forrester Research Inc.
Surprisingly, software, books and music — categories which pioneered online sales, saw March sales decrease by more than $58 million over February, according to the NRF/Forrester Online Retail Index.
Computer hardware purchases more than doubled to $317.7 million in March, compared to $152.9 million in February. Consumer electronics jumped to $181.8 million in March, from $87.4 million in the previous month.
Travel-related categories, including airline tickets, car rentals and hotel reservations, jumped to nearly $900 million in March, from $506 million in February.
While total purchases increased 27.9 percent in March, the number of online shoppers declined 5 percent to 11,959 shoppers. Average amount spent per consumer in March rose to $252.04, from $187.20 in the month earlier.