EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 3150 - September 11, 2013     3 of 3

Small Online Retailers Could See Healthy Holiday Growth

By David A. Utter

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Robust online sales for small to medium-sized businesses hint at even better economic activity in 2013. Ecommerce software firm Volusion liked what it has seen over the first half of 2013, with more than 11 million transactions moving $1.6 billion in sales on its platform.

Volusion's "State of E-commerce" extends those findings to predict what should be 20 percent sales growth year over year for SMBs in the upcoming holiday season. But while some categories like Sporting Goods, Industrial Equipment, and Food & Beverage exhibited strong growth in the first half of the year, Computers and Jewelry saw declines.

Growth in Sporting Goods looks like it will be attributed to broader selections of products online, along with demand for specialized products in that space. In Industrial Equipment, Volusion said 75 percent of construction equipment manufacturers anticipate 3 percent sales growth, and almost one in four forecasted between 6 and 8 percent growth as well.

The decline in Computers probably reflects the increasing demand and usage of portable devices. Tablets and smartphones enjoy the same advantages online as other products, with ease of research and comparison shopping being readily available.

US Commerce Department data showed year over year growth of 18.5 percent for ecommerce sales for the second quarter of 2013. Those sales totaled $64.8 billion. Overall, Volusion sees its users as well as the broader SMB space enjoying solid sales trends.

"As this information demonstrates, SMBs continue to play a pivotal role in the growth of the ecommerce space, and is only expected to see increased gains moving forward, especially during the upcoming holiday season," Volusion CEO Clay Olivier said in the report.

About the author:

David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. He has covered technology topics from search to security to online business and has been quoted in places like ZDNet and BusinessWeek. He considers his appearance on NPR's "All Things Considered" with long-time host Robert Siegel a delightful highlight. Send your tips to and find him on Twitter @davidautter and on LinkedIn.

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