Another Banner E-Com Year Expected

E-tailers who experienced the online holiday retail growth in 2002 should be prepared – analysts are already anticipating increased e-commerce spending by the end of 2003.

Excluding travel, research from eMarketer indicates that 2003 will bring in $58.2 billion in business-to-consumer (B2C) retail revenue and similarly, Jupiter Research (a unit of this site’s corporate parent) predicts $51.7 billion for the year’s online retail sales, led by 97 million consumers (59 percent of the online population).

While 2002 was a good year for e-tail – the Department of Commerce estimated $45.5 billion in e-commerce spending – the 2002 UCLA Internet Report, created by the Center for Communication Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles, noted some declines in online shopping behavior compared to surveys of previous years.

2000 2001 2002
Internet users who buy online 45.1% 50.9% 39.7%
Number of online purchases N/A 10.81 28.32
Average dollars spent online $113.43 $70.21 $100.70
Source: The 2002 UCLA Internet Report

More encouraging for 2003, were responses to a key question: When asked if their online buying is likely to increase, 71.2 percent of the 2002 respondents answered affirmatively, compared to 66.1 percent in 2001, and 54.5 percent in 2000.

The future of e-commerce continues to brighten, according to Jupiter’s research. Driven by online population growth, increased spending by buyers, and higher percentages of online shoppers (142 million consumers or 65 percent of the online population will have made a purchase online by 2007) Jupiter expects online retail spending to reach $105 billion by 2007, accounting for 5 percent of all U.S. retail spending and influencing 34 percent of all U.S. retail spending.

Jupiter found that the Internet affected $232 billion in offline spending in 2002 – excluding automobiles, prescription drugs, financial services, and travel) – and will grow to $573 billion by 2007.

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