Gas Prices Send Consumers Online to Shop

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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