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Online Retail Index Planned to Measure Trends

The National Retail Federation (NRF), Forrester Research and Greenfield Online plan to create an index of online retail trends aggregating online sales data by product category and dollar value from monthly surveys of 5,000 online shoppers.

The National Retail Federation/Forrester Online Retail Index "will provide the most current and comprehensive assessment of what is happening in consumer spending via the Internet," the companies said.

"For the first time, our members will be able to get consistent data by product category on the state of the online market," said NRF President Tracy Mullin.

"Business-to-consumer sales via the Internet became fundamental to the retail landscape in 1999," said Forrester Research President George F. Colony.

"To better understand which categories are changing the fastest, retailers need to know what consumers are buying through this powerful new channel. The index data on consumer spending patterns will be the first and best research available to help retailers understand these trends."

Marketing research firm Greenfield Online will make available access to the 1.4 million online consumers in its research panel.

The survey, to be developed by Forrester and fielded by Greenfield Online, will report its first results by March 1, 2000, and will be available on both the NRF and Forrester Web sites.