Shopping, the Internet and the Real World

If you look at the trend data from the US Government what you see is moderate ecommerce growth over the past couple of years. The US retail economy in Q2 was $1,002,172,000 ($1 trillion), so it should come in somewhere between $3.5 and $4 trillion this year.

Ecommerce continues to grow and forecasts for 2006 are well over $100 billion. But ecommerce is a teensy, tiny fraction of overall US retail spending. In Q2 it was 2.5%, down from 2.7% in Q1 ’06 and Q4 of 2005.

The Internet is, however, influencing more and more offline spending (perhaps more than $400 billion this year). Therefore “closing the loop” on how and where the Internet is impacting that offline spending is critical over time.

Indeed, if marketers could really see the impact of online advertising on offline buying more money would be flowing online at a more rapid rate.

When I was at Yahoo! earlier this week, one of the things we discussed around Panama was starting to “close the loop” and track offline spending through a variety of methodologies.


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