Posts tagged with Ecommerce

Ecommerce can help save the planet

green ecommerceShop online and help end global warming? In this era of acute environmental awareness, that could be a powerful value proposition for etailers. Particularly with data to back up the claim.

Buy that gizmo online rather than drive to the all and you'll burn 35 percent less energy, finds a just-released Carnegie Mellon University Green Design Institute study.

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ComScore's State of the U.S. Online Retail Economy

ecommerce growth vs eyar agoIn chart after chart, the numbers kept falling off a cliff. In delivering ComScore's "State of the U.S. Online Retail Economy through January 2009" report today, Chairman Gian Fulgoni didn't mince words. His references kept returning to the fact that the numbers have never looked this bad.

But ecommerce could be worse. A lot worse. It could look like traditional retail.

ComScore's panel (rather than survey) data indicate a drop in year-over-year online shopping in the critical fourth quarter of 2008, "The first time we have seen a decline in the eight years that we have been tracking quarterly," noted Fulgoni grimly. Any bumps in spending he attributes to an increase in gift card redemption - rather than actual buying - over the holiday season.

Spending drops were greatest more or less where you'd expect. Luxury goods were hit hard, as was entertainment spending. But there was also a steep 30 percent decline in spending in sectors such as office supplies as businesses cut back their budgets.

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Recession collides with "Amazon Tax"

Since the dawn of US ecommerce, the question has been "to sales tax, or not to sales tax?"

Consumers and online retailers are squarely in the don't-tax camp, while state governments, which stand to reap the tax dollars, are of a differing opinion. New York state has been trying to get out of state sellers, such as Amazon, to collect and pay state sales tax on transactions, which could reap hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue for the cash-strapped government (particular now that once-lucrative Wall Street revenues are fading fast).

The rule of thumb has long been that if the online seller has a bricks and mortar local presence in the state, e.g. Apple.com has local Apple stores, state tax is levied on online transactions. Amazon, as well as other online-only retailers such as Overstock.com, challenged New York's attempt to get them to pony up 8.25 percent on all New York state transactions.

Yesterday, a NY State judge dismissed Amazon's suit as groundless.

Blame.....the affiliates?

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