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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    High Gas Prices A Boon For eCommerce Merchants?

    Reuters has a story out today stating the high gas prices are driving (no pun intended) more consumers to shop more online. Here's an excerpt:

    "One third (33 percent) of online U.S. adults indicated they are
    more likely to shop online rather than in-person at a store due to the
    high price of gasoline."

    Is this trend visable in your sales? Aren't the high gas prices just be paid to UPS/FedEx instead of at the pump? Are you absorbing the fuel surcharges or passing them on to the customer?

  2. #2
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    It could be, I've heard from some webmasters that they're making more money from so many people just staying at home.
    <snip>
    Want to learn more about processing?
    Check out our E-Commerce Blog

  3. #3
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Online sales are still affected by higher shipping costs as a result of higher gas prices. I would think higher shipping costs would put people off before the cost of gas to run down to a retailer real quick assuming there is one near by that sells the product in question.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zboyet View Post
    Online sales are still affected by higher shipping costs as a result of higher gas prices. I would think higher shipping costs would put people off before the cost of gas to run down to a retailer real quick assuming there is one near by that sells the product in question.
    Hence the need for shipping offers and visible shipping rates now more than ever. Customers aren't accepting shipping increases but they're also very resistant to going just about anywhere extra in their car. The trick of course is to sell value either discreetly (discount shipping) or overtly (save on gas, buy at home). In previous years the "drive and get it" mentality was a big issue but it's becoming less and less of one as people try to avoid making extra trips. If what you sell is something they can get along with their groceries this may not apply but trips to the mall and speciality stores are declining and for higher ticket or even just decently priced items, there's a lot less desire from the consumer market to go out and get them in retail as one trip turns into two, three or four to find the right style, price compare, etc...

    Given the overall economic numbers there's a lot of slow downs across the board but e-commerce shops selling into value and with fair shipping prices are still seeing growth. You just have to be sure you get your share of the switch over sales rather than having competitors suck them all up.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/19/bu...=1&oref=slogin

    http://blog.shop.org/2008/07/08/is-i...line-shopping/
    - Ted S

  5. #5
    PHP/Rails Developer Czaries's Avatar
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    I think that high gas prices will certainly be a boom to the entire web industry. I know that the web shop I work at has already seen a large increase in the amount of customers asking for e-commerce websites. It's going to be good for anyone in the industry, especially those selling goods and those providing services to those selling goods.

  6. #6
    Formerly known as RockNRollPig Shpigford's Avatar
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    I haven't really noticed any increase in sales due to the gas prices. If anything, we've seen a decrease in sales...possibly due to economic strain across the board.


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