Americans spent more online on clothing than on computers for the first time in history, a survey showed on May 14.
The survey conducted by National Retail Federation's online unit, Shop.org, found apparel, accessories and footwear sales hit US$18.3 billion (NT$604 billion) in 2006, ahead of the long-running sector leader of computer hardware and software, with sales of US$17.2 billion (NT$567 billion).
"Apparel retailers have overcome a number of hurdles to encourage shoppers to buy clothing and accessories online," said Scott Silverman, executive director of Shop.org.
"Retailers are doing such a great job online that in some cases it's easier to find and buy clothing on the web than it is in a store."
The report said apparel retailers have encouraged online sales through free or discounted shipping and easy exchange policies. They also are using technologies on their sites where customers can zoom and rotate merchandise or see the item in different colors before buying.
The survey predicted online apparel sales in 2007 will make up around 10 percent of all clothing sales.
According to a report prepared by Forrester Research, 2007 online sales including travel are expected to rise 18 percent to US$259.1 billion (NT$8.5 trillion) after a 25 percent jump in 2006.
"As consumers flood the Web to purchase merchandise and research products, online retail is moving full speed ahead," said Sucharita Mulpuru of Forrester Research.
Another sign that e-commerce has come of age is that profitability throughout the sector has stabilized. Eighty-three percent of respondents to the survey reported profitability and 78 percent said they were more profitable than in 2005.(AFP)
1. apparel n.
服飾 (fu2 shi4)
例: Nike apparel has been selling well lately as people rush to buy their favorite team's jerseys and hats.
2. hurdle n.
障礙 (zhang4 ai4)
例: The main hurdle to getting this job is my lack of experience.
3. zoom v.i. /v.t.
縮放 (suo1 fang4)
例: The director told the cameraman to zoom in on the main actor during this scene.
4. stabilize v.i. /v.t.
呈穩定 (cheng2 wen3 ding4)
例: The market was volitile for a week, but quickly stabilized.
As used in this article, flood is a verb that means to cover or to fill: "My house was flooded with guests during my birthday party." The most common use of flood is to describe when water, normally from a heavy rain, rises and covers the land. "When the typhoon came last week, even some third floor apartments were flooded."
Flood can also describe being overwhelmed after receiving too much of something: "Our office was flooded with packages after the mailman made his delivery."
Courtney: Do you want to go shopping this weekend?
Kristen: No thanks. I buy most of the things I need online now.
Courtney: Even clothes? I always thought it was too hard to tell if they will fit without trying them on.
Kristen: In some cases that's true, but the Web site I use for clothes provides a lot of measurements, which helps.
Courtney: Imagine that. Make sure to e-mail me that link.
imagine that 真不可思議
If someone says imagine that, he means whatever you just said is very surprising or incredible. For example: "John said he was going on a trip to 50 different countries next year. Imagine that."
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