US e-commerce returning to pre-attack levels

In the five weeks following the September 11 attacks on the US, online shopping almost rebounded to its pre-attack levels, although travel services continued to drag, according to statistics released Friday by internet data-tracking company ComScore Networks.

          In the five weeks following the September 11 attacks on the US, online shopping almost rebounded to its pre-attack levels, although travel services continued to drag, according to statistics released Friday by internet data-tracking company ComScore Networks.

          ComScore, which collects browsing and buying behaviour from a panel of over 1.5 million internet users, said that online dollar sales reached $US929 million during the week ending October 21, five weeks after the attacks. This is just 7% less than the pre-attack weekly average of $US999 million.

          While nontravel related buying came in even with the weekly average recorded before September 11, online travel commerce still remained 17% lower in the fifth week following the attacks.

          Last month's attacks, in which four commercial planes were hijacked and three were plowed into US landmarks, sent the travel industry into a tailspin. Although the airlines have attempted to shore up sales by slashing prices and offering promotions, the number of airline trips booked online are still down, ComScore reports.

          The researcher also noted that while discretionary purchases, such as books and event tickets are still below pre-attack levels, essential goods such as apparel, health and beauty products are actually posting higher sales than they did before September 11. In the week following the attacks, essential goods dipped 27%. Sales of discretionary items slipped 24% following the attacks and are just now returning to normal levels.

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