Online retail websites feel economic crisis

Traffic to online retail websites in the United States has declined for 8 consecutive weeks, according to new figures from Hitwise.

Visits to a custom category of 500 retail websites declined 3% for the week to October 25 vs the same period last year. Traffic to retail websites as a percentage of overall US internet traffic dropped from 3% last year to 2.92%.

Traffic to retail sites increased 14% in the period June to August, then declined 4% in September vs the same period in 2007.

Heather Dougherty, research director at Hitwise said the results have wider implications then just online retail

“These declines have strong implications for the upcoming online holiday season as well as offline sales. Everyone is aware of the role that the Internet plays to influence offline sales through research, so this slowdown may indicate a further ripple effect in sales in retail locations.”

The largest sector seeing a decline was music down 21% and computers down 18%.