Online retailers’ profit margins reached 16% in 2003

NYT quotes the online retailing survey, which mentions 2003 as the year, when profit margins for online retailers reached 16%, as compared to losses of 15% the year before. 67% of pure e-commerce shops (no offline presence) reported pre-tax profits. Online sales (excluding travel bookings) went up to $72 billion and represented 5.4% of all the retail sales in the US. According to’s estimates, consumers will buy 43% of their computer hardware and software online this year, and 23% of their entertainment tickets, 22% of their travel and 19% of their books. But nearly all other categories are at or below 10%. Just 4% of home furnishings, for instance, are bought online, and Web purchases represent 1% of food and beverage sales.