E-commerce surging in unexpected ways

by Ryan Streeter on August 23, 2012. Follow Ryan on Twitter.

Two things from this new Kauffman study jumped out at me.

First, the percentage of young firms that sell stuff online is so much higher than percentage of all firms. This figure, I believe, isn’t as much about young firms being savvier at using websites to sell their products as it’s a reflection of how U.S. consumers are changing. If you’re starting a new company, you need to figure out how to sell online because that’s where the market is going. That’s why Best Buy and other box retailers are struggling to keep stores open.

Second, take a look at the surge in online sales in manufacturing:

We’ve become so accustomed to the decline of manufacturing that we typically miss the number of ways it’s growing and changing. I thought I was doing a pretty good job of tracking with those changes, but this is one I hadn’t seen or anticipated. Manufacturers as leaders in e-commerce – that’s perhaps the best way of characterizing the new face of manufacturing in America.