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Gas Prices Send Consumers Online to Shop

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As gas prices rise, mall traffic has been dropping. But all is not lost for retailers. Consumers are increasingly turning online to conduct their shopping, according a report in the New York Times.

J.C. Penney saw 8.7% growth in online traffic for the first quarter of 2008, while same store sales saw a 7.4% drop. Gap saw a 21% increase in online sales compared with an 11% decline in same store sales.

Looking for a way to get shoppers to buy from your site? Free or discounted shipping is a popular strategy. Makes sense, doesn't it? If people are looking to save on gas, then reduced/free shipping is all the more reason to buy online. Or try couponing, which is up 56%.

The Times also points out that deals on shipping are a stark contrast to businesses who raise fees to cover their costs due to increasing gas prices (yeah, we're talking about you, airline industry!).

Are you noticing a change in consumer behavior due to rising gas prices? Let us know in the comments.

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