Consumers are spending less on discretionary items such as cinema tickets and more on clothing, and more of their expenditures take place online, with eBay and Amazon proving popular retail sites across the UK, America and Hong Kong.
The MasterCard SpendingPulse report released on October 6 found that consumers in the USA recently spent more on clothes and electronic goods than "luxury items" (also referred to as discretionary items).
The report also found that while sales at high street stores dropped, online retailers posted month-on-month gains of 7.8 per cent throughout September.
And analytical service Experian Hitwise measures which of the online retailers are the most popular across several regions. According to its data, the most popular online retail sites for the week ending October 2 were electronics and entertainment retailer Amazon and auction site eBay.
In the US, Amazon.com took pole position and Walmart came second, whereas in the UK eBay.co.uk was the most visited site with Amazon.co.uk in second place.
Over the same period Amazon.com was also the most visited site in Hong Kong, however Chinese auction site Taobao, which recently joined forces with Yahoo! Japan, also proved popular and was the second most visited site.
EBay and Amazon's dominance continued in Australia where eBay Australia, eBay.com and Amazon.com were, respectively, the three most visited sites.
Online shopping is continuing to increase in popularity as consumers emerging from the recession are shopping around for better deals on the web. -- AFP