Online Shopping Up, Local Communities Down

As eCommerce gains more clicks and more transactions, online shopping sales have increased to a breaking 15 percent over last year. U.S. consumers spent $12.8 billion online, according to Villanova University’s business school. That’s just between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday.

Experts point to reasons like consumer confidence being up, unemployment rates sliding down and GDP being higher. That’s great news nationally, but not locally.

Brick-and-mortar mom-and-pop shops are seeing a steep decline in sales. Department stores had their peak in 2001 with sales of just under $20 billion, but now, they’re showing figures of just over $14 billion. At the same time, customers are doing more research via the web, which is where they end up making those purchases. They’ll stand in stores with their smartphones at the ready to compare products and prices. They will take into account family opinions on shopping through social media and even post reviews to help other shoppers decide to purchase (or not) online.

Ultimately, retailers see the shift in mobile sales as tectonic. And this infographic from Villanova University has even more data to suggest it: