The economy will slow US online holiday sales, really?

We do not need a study to conclude that economy would slow US online holiday sales, but here’s one from Forrester Research. Sales would reach $44 billion, representing a 12 percent increase over the last year but that would be the slowest growth to date. The reason? Your guess is as good as mine– the economy.

Although US consumers are pessimistic about the economy, they remain interested with the web as venue for them to save money. Forty-eight percent of consumers surveyed, compared with 41 percent in 2007, said that they can find the best values and deals online. Additionally, 36 percent of consumers said that they would be more likely to shop online due to high gas prices, compared with 22 percent who expressed the same sentiment last year.

Forrester expects that the majority of holiday online sales will be driven by shoppers who have previously purchased online, rather than first time online buyers.

More than two-thirds of consumers surveyed said that they are planning to spend more or about the same online as they did last year. Core holiday product categories such as clothing will remain top choices for online buyers, as well as books, DVDs/videos, music, gift certificates, and toys.

Respondents also indicated that they will be seeking free shipping offers more often this year than last.