Retail revenues generated from online shopping worldwide will increase by 784 percent over the next four years, from $4.5 billion by year-end 1998, to $35.3 billion by 2002, according to eMarketer’s eCommerce: Retail Shopping Report.
[IC_ARTICLE_OBJECT [SHOW IC_Article_ID] “table1”] Source: eMarketer
The report states that online shopping will provide thousands of retailers with expanded revenue opportunities and new ways of reaching new customers and enhancing existing customer relationship.
“In only five years, the world wide web has emerged as a new and viable channel for consumer shopping,” said Geoffrey Ramsey of eMarketer. “The Internet, in the scope of the $2.5 trillion U.S. retail economy, will fundamentally change not only where people buy, but also how, how often, how much, when, what and even why,” Ramsey said.
Aggregating data from over 100 research studies and surveys, the report emphasizes that electronic commerce is fueled by three interrelated factors: consumer access, acceptance, and the relative advantages of the web.
Consumer access refers to the penetration level of the net in people’s homes, and therefore sets the upper limit for electronic commerce. Acceptance, meanwhile, deals with the shifts in attitudes and behaviors that must take place before consumers embrace the net as a new form of shopping. Finally, advantages reflect the real and perceived benefits of shopping online relative to traditional means.
Ramsey cautioned that despite the heady growth of consumer online shopping, the numbers need to be put into a larger perspective. While this year’s online shopping sales will top $4.5 billion, the business-to-business side of e-commerce will reach $15.9 billion by year’s end.