US$126b B2C sales by 2004

A new report released today by eMarketer reveals that, despite shakeouts in early 2000, the U.S. B2C e-commerce machine keeps chugging along.
Written by ZDNet Staff, Contributor
B2C e-commerce revenues are expected to reach the US$100 billion mark by 2003.

NEW YORK - A new report released today by eMarketer reveals that, despite shakeouts in early 2000, the U.S. B2C e-commerce machine keeps chugging along.

Revenues from online consumer retail shopping are projected to grow to US$125.6 billion by 2004, representing an increase of 240 percent from the $37 billion projected by year-end 2000.

The e-Commerce: B2C Report says the growth will be fueled primarily by a growing consumer interest in buying and not just browsing online. E-commerce revenues in 2000 are projected to almost double from the $19.4 billion recorded in 1999, according to eMarketer.

"People are getting online in droves, as the ease of Internet purchasing turns users and shoppers into buyers and regular buyers," says Geoff Ramsey, statsmaster at eMarketer. "Collectively, these purchasers will help drive e-commerce revenues through the roof."

The report projects during year 2000, 64 million individual Internet users will participate in some form of online shopping-related activity while 55 million users and 24 million households will have purchased at least one item on the Web.

The report also reveals that the U.S. share of e-commerce revenues approached three-fourth's of the world's total in 1999. Although the U.S. portion of e-commerce sales will drop considerably, it will still account for a majority share (59 percent) of overall revenues by 2003.

While total worldwide e-commerce will grow at a compound annual rate of 93 percent from 1999 to 2003, U.S. e-commerce will increase at a slightly more moderate pace for the same period - at a compound annual rate of 85 percent. In non-U.S. markets, growth will average 109 percent annually. Since the U.S. is starting with a much bigger base, the relative growth in non-U.S. markets will be greater.

Key findings of the e-Commerce: B2C Report

  • Business-to-Consumer e-commerce will continue to accelerate, beyond previously aggressive projections, reaching the $100 billion mark by 2003.
  • Gender parity will hit the Net with women dominating e-commerce, just as they overwhelmingly (70 - 80 percent) dominate offline retail shopping.
  • The 1999 holiday shopping juggernaut spurred this year's early sales growth, with many of the 10 million first-time shoppers staying online in Q1 2000.
  • Computer hardware/software and travel services continue as the leading B2C categories through 2003. In 1999, they accounted for 61 percent of total online B2C revenues and by 2003, they will represent 39 percent of all consumer dollars spent online.
  • Fulfilment of goods and services online further challenges e-tailers as consumers are increasingly frustrated over out-of-stock merchandise, high shipping costs and late deliveries of products ordered on the Web.

    The e-Commerce: B2C Report aggregates research data from a variety of sources, including Andersen Consulting, Forrester Research, Nielsen, Jupiter Communications, Gartner Group, Deloitte & Touche and KPMG.

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