Holiday Sales Surge for Small Online Businesses
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Jan 20, 2003 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Although traditional retailers are reporting a slump for the fourth quarter, online small businesses experienced a boost in holiday sales this season, according to a survey of 5,000 small-to-medium-si
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Jan 20, 2003 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Although traditional retailers are reporting a slump for the fourth quarter, online small businesses experienced a boost in holiday sales this season, according to a survey of 5,000 small-to-medium-sized e-commerce businesses conducted by web hosting company Affinity Internet.
More than 40 percent of online small businesses report increased sales on their web sites this holiday season compared to last year. Of those businesses reporting higher sales, 79 percent experienced a sales increase of more than 10 percent. Fifty percent said their businesses increased more than 20 percent. Sites selling collectors' items accounted for the largest increase in sales (60 percent).
"Given the general increase in Internet usage and the number of households now on high bandwidth connections, it isn't a surprise that small businesses with a web presence are starting to sell more online," Jim Collins, chief operating officer, Affinity, said.
Traffic on the sites surveyed was also up -- an average of 43 percent. In contrast, according to the Goldman Sachs index of same-store sales, the retail industry experienced one of the worst holiday sales increases in the past three decades -- only one percent higher than last year.
The Online Small Business Owner Profile
According to the Affinity survey, 75 percent of online small business owners are male. The survey proves that there doesn't seem to be a geographic concentration of online businesses. More than half have a four-year college degree or higher (54 percent) and all have finished high school. Contrary to popular belief that young people are the primary group using the web as a location for their business, 80 percent of all online small business owners surveyed are over the age of 30.
Most online business owners (68 percent) surveyed have one to five employees. Fifteen percent were sole practitioners. More than half of the owners (51 percent) say running their online business is their only job.
Affinity Internet Inc., a Top 10 hosting service provider, specializes in hosting solutions for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMB). One of the few profitable web hosting companies, Affinity operates multiple branded hosting services, each offering shared and/or dedicated servers, applications and products designed to meet the specific needs of one of the segments of the SMB marketplace.
Affinity hosts more than 390,000 domains for more than 170,000 customers worldwide. The company sells direct over the web and through more than 2,000 resellers or channel partners. The company has offices in El Segundo, Calif. and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with data centers in Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale.