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Expensive gas is good for ecommerce

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Thursday April 7, 2011 )

According to the latest MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse report, ecommerce in March recorded strong growth – and high prices at the gas pump may have contributed.

Just like bad weather boosts ecommerce activity, so do high fuel prices as people look to save a few extra pennies by shopping online.

According to Michael McNamara, Vice President, Research and Analysis for MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, the average price of gas in the USA continues to be above $3.50 a gallon (only $3.50 – wow; paying around 5 bucks and more here in Australia) and shoppers are consolidating shopping trips, shopping locally or virtually.

Ecommerce in March posted its fifth consecutive month of double-digit growth, rising by a whopping 16.1% overall, even higher than February’s 13.2% increase.

As they say, it’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good and while I feel for the families who suffer through increased fuel prices, at least now there are options when the pain at the pump becomes a little too much to bear.

I think the current oil situation should also be acting as writing on the wall for folks that fossil fuels are on their way out and will only get more expensive in the year ahead – it’s time to start planning.

The oil price situation is where the Internet will start playing an even greater role in how we buy and sell in the future; so merchants who haven’t yet invested in an ecommerce presence should be taking note of this sort of phenomenon and going full steam ahead to ensure they are able to sell their products online.

Some major bricks and mortar players haven’t done so and piffled the Internet in the past – now they are starting to pay the price and scrabbling to catch up.


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