Tue, Dec 09, 2008 - Page 12 News List

Online shopping outlets defy hard times

NET ADVANTAGE Online sales have risen to 4 percent of the retail industry from 3.3 percent last year, a number that is expected to climb to 4.7 percent next year

By Sylvia Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Online shopping platform Yahoo Kimo Super Mall (Yahoo!奇摩購物中心) reported 30 percent year-on-year growth in sales during the first three quarters, as consumers cut back on in-store shopping amid the economic downturn.

Yahoo Kimo Super Mall, established by local business-to-consumer (B2C) online shopping operator Monday Tech Co (興奇科技), merged with Yahoo-Kimo Inc (雅虎奇摩) in August and changed to its present name.

Ministry of Economic Affairs data showed that the nation’s retail industry registered five consecutive months of contraction since June, whereas the online shopping market has continued growing.

Yahoo-Kimo Inc general manger Charlene Hung (洪小玲) said that although the economic slowdown had forced consumers to reduce their shopping frequency, demand remained.

Hung said that some of the advantages of online shopping platforms were that they are open 24 hours a day and that orders are mailed to their doorstep. They also offer bonuses, discounts and installment payments, which helps increase customers’ willingness to shop online.

Estimates by the Market Intelligence Center (MIC) showed the B2C online shopping market was worth NT$136.5 billion (US$4.08 billion) this year, growing 27.8 percent year on year. Shopping sites surpassed department stores in becoming the fifth most visited retail channel.

Online sales have risen to 4 percent of retail industry sales from 3.3 percent last year and that number is expected to jump to 4.7 percent next year, the MIC said.

The MIC survey also found that the amount of money Internet users spent in B2C e-commerce this year rose from last year, with nearly 57 percent of shoppers spending more than NT$3,000 on each transaction.

Hung said Web shopping complements department stores, as peak business hours for Internet shopping were 9:30pm to 2am. Sales during those hours account for 30 percent of the entire day, she said.

PChome Online (網路家庭), another online shopping operator, reported sales of NT$600 million in the past five months.

Also See: US online spending up 9% during first week of December

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