retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Washington Post reports on a new study from Adobe saying that "the rise of online shopping across the United States is rather uneven, with more affluent states marching more quickly toward a lifestyle in which buying happens on a screen instead of at the mall."

The story goes on: "Looking first at the year-over-year growth rates in total spending, you see the choppiness. For example, coastal states such as New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, New Jersey and California have some of the strongest surges in online shopping. But big pickups are not limited those geographies, with Texas and Mississippi also posting robust e-commerce growth.

"Maryland saw an 8 percent increase in spending, while Virginia saw a 7 percent increase. Meanwhile, online spending actually retreated or held steady in a handful states, including Idaho and South Dakota."

In addition, analysis of individuals' online spending says the same thing - that the more affluent are adapting to online shopping faster than people who are less so.

There also "are unique pain points to brick-and-mortar shopping in cities," the story says. "Checkout lines at high-traffic stores can be excruciatingly long. Nabbing an on-street parking spot can feel like a miracle. Many city residents don’t own a car, and it can be hard to lug purchases on public transit or on foot. All these factors may be pushing them to adopt online shopping more quickly than those in smaller towns."
KC's View:
This isn't really a surprise, though it does both clarify and quantify trends that most people would've presumed were true. I think most trends begin in affluent, urban/suburban communities, usually on either coast, and work their way through the rest of the country.

BTW ... this is one of the arguments for drones ... that they will create ease of delivery and probably some economies of scale for harder-to-reach communities.