By Ashley Bailey
, Monday, May 21, 2007
From National Jeweler Network - Washington, D.C.—Non-travel online sales could reach $259.1 billion in 2007, an 18 percent increase over last year, according to a new report by Forrester Research for Shop.org.
The study, "The State of Retailing Online 2007," predicts that the online apparel, accessories and footwear category will increase to $22.1 billion this year. Last year, $18.3 billion was spent on the category, marking the first time ever that American consumers spent more on online clothing purchases than on online computer purchases.
The report attributes the growth in the apparel, accessories and footwear category to an influx of new companies and liberal shipping policies such as free shipping on returns and exchanges. In addition, such retailers have integrated new technology into their sites including rich imaging, which allows consumers to zoom in on or rotate images of merchandise, or see the merchandise in different colors.
Computer hardware and software, long the frontrunner for non-travel online sales, fell to second place last year, with sales of $17.2 billion, followed by sales of automobiles and auto parts ($16.7 billion) and home furnishings ($10 billion).