Buying Game

Shoppers hit the superhighway.
Magazine Contributor
1 min read

This story appears in the May 1998 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

E-commerce has arrived--a fact profitably demonstrated in last December's online rush of holiday shoppers. AOL reported its electronic mall logged $150 million in sales last December alone.

Just what are consumers buying online? Computers, of course. Techno-gadgetry/software is the Web's largest category. But softer goods are also selling. AOL, for instance, claims brisk sales of food, books and flowers. One big lesson learned at the AOL mall is that most sales occur between 10 p.m. and 10 a.m., hours when brick-and-mortar stores are closed. Another lesson: Consumers are motivated to buy with limited-time, special price offers (discounts that expire in 24 hours, for example).

The importance of this embrace of e-commerce may be exaggerated, however. By most accounts, e-commerce amounts to less than $3 billion per year, a tiny fraction of the overall retail market. But e-commerce's share is climbing fast, and for many retailers, the Web is becoming the smartest, cheapest storefront around.

To contact Robert McGarvey, visit his Web site at http://members.aol.com/rjmcgarvey

loading...
More from Entrepreneur
Entrepreneur Select: A Fund For Entrepreneurs, By Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs require more than just money, which is why we aim to empower you, as well as act as a catalyst for value creation.

Book Sale - Save 60%!


Through 6/20/21, save on our collection of recommended side hustle and Start Your Own books, including:

  • Start Your Own eBay Business
  • Start Your Own Business
  • Start Your Own Etsy Business
  • And more

Use code SIDEHUSTLE2021 to claim your savings!

Try a risk-free trial of Entrepreneur’s BIZ PLANNING PLUS powered by LivePlan for 60 days:
  • Get step-by-step guidance for writing your plan
  • Gain inspiration from 500+ sample plans
  • Utilize business and legal templates
  • And much more

Latest on Entrepreneur