Effects of Online Shopping on Vehicular Traffic

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Effects of Online Shopping on Vehicular Traffic


The purpose of this research was to assess and project the effects of online shopping on vehicular traffic. It was anticipated that as more people purchased goods and services online. short-distance traffic would be reduced.

The method of study was personal interviews following a literature review of this subject. Efforts were focused on consumers’ shopping behaviors and the resulting effects on short-distance traffic. Survey data were combined with forecasts of online shopping volume from eMarketer, and estimates of total trip savings were made for the years 2000 and 2004. The results were not encouraging. We estimated that online shopping reduced total short-distance vehicle traffic by only 0.31 percent in 2000, and in 2004, the reduction in short-distance vehicle traffic will be about 0.93%.

The implications are that online shopping cannot be counted on for significant reduction in vehicular traffic in the short to immediate term. However, this conclusion will change if technology development moves ahead to the point of making online shopping more attractive for the majority of shopper.



Joseph Giglierano is a Professor of Marketing in the College of Business at San José State University. He holds a BA in Political Science from the College of Wooster in Ohio, an MPA from Ohio State University, and a PhD in Business Administration from Ohio State University. His works have been published in numerous periodicals and journals and presented at many forums and symposia.

He currently teaches high-tech marketing, e-commerce marketing, and marketing management at the graduate level, and e-commerce marketing and buyer behavior at the undergraduate level.

Giglierano’s research interests include business strategy, entrepreneurship, electronic commerce, online marketing, business-to-business marketing, and marketing management, as well as new technology development, marketing of new technology and concepts, demand management, and management education for transportation.

October 2001
Traffic forecasting
Trip distribution
Trip estimation



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