Online Retail Sales vs. Total Retail Sales

I was talking to my buddy BDS yesterday, who was SHOCKED to hear that online sales were merely 6% of all retail sales. Yes - it's 2008 - and internet shopping is considered mainstream within the social circle of this blogs readership.... however...that's not the norm throughout the country. As an example, I don't know anyone outside of New York City who shops online for their groceries. I believe groceries are a $150 Billion industry....

As a quick glimpse into my everyday job... I'm passionately trying to convince marketing and merchandising executives that e-commerce (online sales) is not a good barometer of online advertising impact. Most marketers use online advertising to drive online sales - and offline advertising for everything else. Clearly more than 6% of shoppers use the internet as a shopping tool - even if they don't use it as the final buying mechanism... While most people will raise their hand when I ask "who in the room has ever used Google or the internet in general to research products that they later buy in the store."...however... you would all be surprised to know how difficult it is to truly convince these marketers to change their behavior...

Here is the breakdown of retail categories and the percentage of sales that online commerce represents (source: State of Online Retailing, Forrester/Shop.org)

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