I’m having trouble buying an argument in today’s Times that online sales are somehow in trouble.
Sure, sales won’t grow 25% into perpetuity. But is that really a surprise? At that “historical” (a term I used advisedly) growth rate, the doubling period for online sales isn’t even three years. With Internet sales already accounting for 5% of all retail sales in the U.S. that would but us at 10% (all else being equal) in 2010, 20% three years later, and almost half the U.S. retail market in 2013.
Put differently, it’s no surprise sales is slowing. The law of large numbers still holds — always has, alway will. But the raw revenue numbers are still gigantic, with online commerce adding more incremental revenue this year than was the entire e-commerce market in 1998-1999.
Does it have anything to do, however, with people balking at buying online? You have got to be kidding.