Thirty percent of households shop online

The New York Times (registration required) has an article on the growth of online shopping during this holiday season.

Two numbers stand out: There was a 25% increase in Internet sales over last year, and about a third of all U.S. households bought something online. And L.L. Bean took more orders over the Web than over the phone, which is a watershed.

I have thought, since the early days of the BEV, and still think that local and small businesses are missing out on this boom. Many have never tried to sell anything online, and others were burned in the go-go dot-com days by the then high expense of online catalogs and the low sales rates.

Anecdotally, I see lots of small businesses doing very well on the Web when they have identified a unique product or service *and* develop a marketing strategy around it.

Economic developers ought to be doing a lot more to help local businesses grow in this area, but still see very little effort being made here.

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