Speaking at an industry forum in Orlando, Azuma noted that "books, CDs and computer sales are still the drivers, but apparel is the fastest growing segment." And when shoppers are asked what matters online, "Convenience continues to be the number one consideration... Price is way down on the list, four or five, but we expect that to become more important." MORE >>
At times last winter the holidays seemed to celebrate little more than the mainstream arrival of online shopping. But yesterday DataQuest analyst Brett Azuma predicted that this year's spending will make 1998 gift-buying look positively pint-sized -- he says it's going to triple from a year ago to $12.2 billion worldwide.