More shoppers turn to online retailers, Amazon leads market

By Justin Mann on November 30, 2009, 7:30 PM
The convenience of online shopping is drawing more customers away from traditional stores, with an 11% increase in online Black Friday spending this year. That figure is ahead of the market as a whole, which rose 3%. Amazon leads the pack in those online sales, gaining 28% year-over-year.

ComScore cited increased reliance on social networking and "creative promotions" as some reasons for the growth -- and the firm doesn't believe it will stop, either. Cyber Monday also saw large increases over last year, and comScore says things look encouraging for online retailers. Companies that have both a retail and online presence did well, with Walmart, Target and Best Buy all gaining.

If consumers continue to opt for Web-based shopping, will we see the end of midnight or early morning sales at brick-and-mortar stores?

User Comments: 37

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IvanAwfulitch IvanAwfulitch said:

On the one hand, Amazon is pretty awesome. But on the other hand, this says something about how lazy we are getting as a nation now. We don't even bother getting up to go and LOOK at the darn thing we're buying anymore. We just stare at a picture and think "ok I want that *click* ". People even do their grocery shopping online in some cases. We're really getting hooked on the Internet now.

klepto12 klepto12, TechSpot Paladin, said:

i like this article plus i like the fact that i dont have to search every store in a city to find something i need like amazon .com or newegg . com. who has gone looking for the perfect gift all day when you could go online find it in 10 minutes and have someone else bring it to your door? i for one love shopping online especially for computer related items since in general they are less expensive except for sometimes shipping but the convenience makes up for that i think.

treeski treeski said:

Maybe I'm way off here, but I think the key thing that the article and IvanAwfulitch are missing is that one prices online almost always are cheaper than at a retail store. It's true that you have to pay for shipping if you order online, but base costs are usually lower, and more often than not, you avoid tax fees (although I think more states are starting to enforce online taxes).

It's interesting to me that someone would think online shopping to be more convenient. I also considered retail store shopping to be much more convenient because... well, I get the item I want in less than an hour, as opposed to a week.

IvanAwfulitch IvanAwfulitch said:

I don't see how I missed the point. The article is clearly saying that more people are moving their shopping needs online to places like Walmart, Amazon, Target, and Bestbuy. Clearly, people find it more convenient to just sit at home and order what they want. To me, that's motivated in large part by laziness. The slight savings you get from online are just adding to that laziness. Nobody is bothering to go out and buy things at stores anymore. People would rather have what they want shipped to their door rather than get up and go get it.

You're right, base costs are somewhat lower because they can just ship it straight out of the warehouse to the person buying it, and taxes can be avoided. But it's not always the case that it's any cheaper online. And, really, I don't think that's the main reason that people are moving towards online purchases.

treeski treeski said:

I don't know. I personally have never avoided going to a store because I haven't wanted to get up and do it, and I honestly don't know anyone else that is like that.

Especially with how the economy has been, I think prices are a much bigger driving factor than "being lazy".

matchu said:

Online shopping = not getting trampled in stores

Honestly, the thing I hate most about shopping in a physical building is the crowds, anyway. Call me antisocial, but I prefer shopping in comfort~

Richy2k9 said:

hello ...

online stores are much appealing to me for several reasons, i don't get all i want in local store. so for me it's mostly a matter or demand being larger than the supply.

in my country everything cost almost twice as much as original price, even if lately taxes have been levied on some cool stuffs like LCD TV ....

i will not find what i really want in stores, so i must go online. the problem i still face is the possibility to have a store that ships to my part of the world & that do not rip my wallet.

otherwise, i do like going shopping, the only problem is i can't afford giving the little free time i have to do so.


Basher said:

One of the biggest things that draws me to online shopping is the prices. For the most part I buy electronics and clothing online and buy most other things in B&M stores. One of my biggest pet peeves in going to a large chain electronics stores is the general employee knows very little and their job requires them to ask everyone if they can "help you with anything". If I want your help, I"ll ask you, just let me look.

@IvanAwfulitch - Do you think that doing research on the internet from home instead of going to the library to look at the encyclopedia is motivated by laziness. Also, going to a store to look at the outside of a box with pictures on it, compared to looking at pictures of the actual item, plus opinions and experiences from others seems like a no-brainer. I'll stick with my "lazy" way of obtaining items, in exchange for saving money and being able to make a better educated decision.

green98ls said:

I prefer to buy online because most things are cheaper and I like to read reviews about what other people have said about certain things. Especially when it comes to electronics.

EXCellR8 EXCellR8, The Conservative, said:

i don't care if online shopping is considered lazy, it's 100x easier than driving to where you want to go, walking around looking for your target item(s), and then waiting in ridiculously long lines before driving back home. of course there are plenty of people who prefer the old fashioned way but not me. if i can do it from the convenience of my own home, sign me up. the only downside is waiting for your stuff to arrive but i don't typically care about that unless there's a delay or something.

tengeta tengeta said:

This would be the first black friday I've ever spend money, Newegg just had a few too many good deals and I managed to put a new file server together for nearly half of what it would have cost me a month ago.

lfg18 said:

I think it is logical than people is turning to online shopping, it is easier and sometimes cheaper, you can compare prices from different retailers just by opening a different window insted of having to drive 20 minutes to the other shop, when you buy a PC for example you can choose the color, procesor, memory and other things, that is not possible in most traditional shops. When you buy online you don't have to deal with other costumers or angry employees, but in the other had you cannot flirt with other costumers or employees, you could do that online but nobody will assure you that you are not flirting with a 60-year-old fat guy, ja.

Anyway I like to go to shops to see what I'm buying, you can get to touch and handle the product and make sure it is what you want, and you get some excersice and fresh air.

Timonius Timonius said:

Certain things I'll more than likely buy online only - like my games. Also I'll shop for books online for special discounts that are not matched in book stores. Sometimes it's just easier online because mistakes and miscommunication is harder to come by. I order pizza by delivery from a major pizza chain where I live on their website, first time I've had a correct order on my pizza (all the other pizza places lately made me hold on the phone, mess up the appartment buzz code, and usually get something wrong on the pizza).

dellz said:

Shopping online is much more consumer friendly , thats what makes all the lazy peopel happy about retailers on the other hand retailers are usefull for peopel who are technofobes because its easy and safe + you have a bigger choice in items.What im trying to say is that its good and bad at the same time that popularity in internet shopping, if only only feamels could try on clothes on the internet , men who hate shopping would be a lot more happier :P

BlackIrish said:

It's not that people are getting lazy, it's just that in lot's of cases it's just stupid to wait long lines in brick and mortar shops, so buying online saves you from that experience.

Though I know a lot of people that first browse products in shops, see what's good, and then buy it online :p

yorro said:

This is how the world is coming, online shopping for digital media is not a trend but a change.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

This is more than just lazy people, you can check online better offers, get sometimes a couple things cheaper than stores, and the idea that you get the things at your home is very convenient!

compdata compdata, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I shop Amazon almost exclusively when i shop online. Even if i find a better deal somewhere else i almost always checkout the reviews on Amazon. I know they are a giant corporation that is out to make money just like everyone else, but they have managed to maintain my trust far more then most other place. Particularly in the area of reviews. I think it is great that they just added the tag to reviews that lets you know for certain that that person bought the product. Not 100% guarantee, but does cut out some comment stuffing. On the flip side i lost a ton of respect for BestBuy and HP after they rejected my reviews that had negative information in them!! Don't trust these sites, and make sure you do your homework elsewhere!!

fref said:

I too like to shop online for my computer stuff, because I can usually find better prices than local stores. It's not so rare to find deals with free shipping too, so things don't get better than that. Sure, you don't always have a chance to see the item first, but personally, when I buy something online that I don't like, I just resell it via local classified ads, and my problem is solved. I sometimes even end up making a profit.

LightHeart said:

I just think this is an evolution of shopping as the population accepts and continues to move into the tech age. Local stores are nice when you need to touch, feel and see something first, when you need it quick, when you need to return it or need assistance (especially a small mom and pop store). Where they lack is with pricing and crowds. Online stores have better pricing, even with shipping in most cases, it's quick, easy, saves gas. Some sites are well done and some need a bit of work. Security can be more of a concern.

fref said:

With online shopping popularity on the rise year after year, companies like Purolator, Fedex and UPS must be really happy.

swilllx2p said:

I prefer to buy online mostly because on days like Black Friday I don't want to have to go out and deal with the people, the retards pushing and shoving and trampling just for a decent deal. It's not so much the laziness as much as it is the not wanting to deal with people that get ridiculous just for a deal. I remember when the ps2 was hard to get..standing in line people were near fighting over who was in line first, and then afterwards people eyeballing the people that got a ps2 like they wanted to mug them.

Serag said:

People are getting more hooked up to the internet and more won't bother going out and actually see what they're buying..

But those increases are based one the latest Black Friday..even though Im not american but I understand the concept of it..and of course how "crowded" and messy can it get!

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

It's not just the savings for the actual item but the savings on gas, and saving time by doing your shopping online. Also as others have pointed out, some items you can't find locally. Not everyone lives in a metropolis (and glad I don't), and a lot of items are hard to find locally, epically electronics. And when you do find them its not just a little bit of savings its a lot, at least for a lot of items I have found. And I can almost always find a larger selection online than in any local store.

So its not me being lazy, I do save quite a bit of money, and a lot of time shopping online.

rgdot said:

There are probably two aspects to success or not of shopping online.

First thing is only a small percentage offer really saving over brick and mortar. Once upon time having a web store was supposed to mean lower prices because of lower costs but in many cases it's not true, of course Amazon is one of the huge exception.

Another is probably wanting to touch and see what you buy.

If these two becomes non-factor online retailers should keep growing and growing.

PUTALE said:

the reason that so many people turn to internet is because of cheaper price and ease of shopping and amazon's awesome free shipping. I often do price comparison online and can find much cheaper price online than at retail store.

ryan29121 said:

IvanAwfulitch said:

On the one hand, Amazon is pretty awesome. But on the other hand, this says something about how lazy we are getting as a nation now. We don't even bother getting up to go and LOOK at the darn thing we're buying anymore. We just stare at a picture and think "ok I want that *click* ". People even do their grocery shopping online in some cases. We're really getting hooked on the Internet now.

Well if you know what your buying, the price is cheaper even with shipping, then why not? You don't have to drive anywhere and you are saving money. I do 90% of my shopping online, just not groceries.

ken777 said:

It's hard to beat the convenience and pricing of online shopping (especially if you can avoid sales tax too), but it's not going to eliminate the brick-and-mortar black friday promos. As long as prices are close enough there will always be people who prefer the immediate gratification of picking up an item in a store. Plus for some people, waging in hand-to-hand combat with other shoppers is part of the fun.

wcbert said:

The only thing now I buy in the store is cloths as I like to try them on first to see how they look. Everything else I buy online. The best part is I do not have to deal with rude, lazy or sales people that do not have a clue of what they are selling.

claycc said:

I did (almost) all of my Thanksgiving shopping online. It just isn't worth it to me to go push my way through hordes of people to save a couple of bucks.

Aolish Aolish said:

there's definitely been an increase in ppl buying online.. thats for sure. Newegg on Black Friday was virtually unusable... I actually had to wait the next day to try and surf normally.

claycc said:

I didn't try to order anything off Newegg but I did place an order on Tiger Direct and it went through fine.

TechDisciple said:

Well, i love shopping online for the following reasons.>1.Convenience 2.comparing prices 3.cheaper 4.Sometimes free shipping long lines driving>>keeps u accident safe and way more fun .

Fada said:

I cant even remember the last time i bought anything substantial on the high street!

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The main reason why I find online shopping so much better is because you can read all the expert and user reviews before making up your own mind... compared to the good old days you would go into a store, look at the blurb on the box and listen to the salesperson who would be encouraging you to buy a product which they have an oversupply of.

Also of course there's all the price comparison sites which save you a lot of time and money compared to driving around to different high street stores and looking for the best deal.

DarkCobra DarkCobra said:

I don't think shopping on-line is indicative of "laziness" at all! As so many others have already indicated there are better deals on-line (even factoring in shipping). You don't have to stand in long lines with people acting like animals to purchase or argue with some rude counter person if returning something.

Sadly, some of the brick and mortar electronic box chains (Good Guys, Circuit City, etc.) have vanished because of their own corporate greed, lack of adequate product supply or just plain bad on the floor service (yes, there were many great floor people as well). If those local shops want to compete then I say "get better" and don't whine. There are advantages to buying local and smart shops are finding new ways to do so, but the old methods no longer work. Circuit City found that out too late. Amazon, New Egg and others are doing an incredible job and local shops can compete if they get innovative.

We should keep in mind that this is not an "either/or" situation. We have the luxury of BOTH options at any time. On-line shopping merely provides us all with another option which is always good. If you think those stores and parking lots are jammed now can you imagine on-line shopping ending? Calling it lazy is ridiculous as you could easily make the claim that the use of a computer for a host of things is being "lazy".

buttus said:

I still don't trust online for my large purchases and prefer to go to the store. Maybe that makes me old fashioned...but shopping online just doesn't "feel" like shopping at all.

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