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New Insights on Retail E-Commerce

The U.S. Census Bureau has been collecting data on retail sales since the 1950s and data on e-commerce retail sales since 1998. As the Internet has become ubiquitous, many retailers have created websites and even entire divisions devoted to fulfilling online orders. Many consumers have turned to e-commerce as a matter of convenience or to increase the variety of goods available to them. Whatever the reason, retail e- commerce sales have skyrocketed and the Internet will undoubtedly continue to influence how consumers shop, underscoring the need for good data to track this increasingly important economic activity.

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