Report: International e-commerce sales grow

E-commerce isn't just an American phenomenon. Dataquest says nearly a third of online sales this holiday season will occur internationally.

The e-commerce phenomenon expected this Christmas season won't be limited to the United States, a new report suggests.

A study from market researcher Dataquest released Wednesday predicts that online spending around the world should hit $12.2bn in the fourth quarter, with almost a third of those dollars coming from outside the US. The total figure is around three times higher than the amount spent online last year, Dataquest said. "The growth of Internet accounts, particularly free online accounts in Europe, has led to a tremendous growth there," said Blaine Mathieu, an analyst at Dataquest.

And while US Net newbies have been somewhat reluctant to try online shopping, non-Americans have been more adventurous, he said. In the Asia-Pacific market, for instance, the growth in e-commerce has allowed consumers to save money on goods that would be much more expensive to get at home.

But that home-grown appeal is what's luring consumers in other parts of the world. "The growth of consumer e-commerce in Europe has been hampered by a US-centric view of e-commerce. Europeans don't function that way. They want stuff in their own language, tailored to their own buying habits," he said.

While he didn't have an exact figure, Mathieu said that a "significant portion" of the non-US e-commerce sales would probably go to companies based overseas.

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