Online Retail to Reach $144 Bln by 2010?

A new report from JupiterResearch, “U.S. Online Retails Forecast: 2005 to 2010,” predicts online retail spending will climb to $144 billion in the year 2010, including an increase from $81 billion in 2005 to $95 billion in 2006 alone. According to the report, the focus in online sales growth will shift from acquiring online customers from the brick-and-mortar retail world to increasing the amount of money spent online by existing online buyers.

Retailers can expect to be dealing with an increasingly experienced population of online shoppers,” said JupiterResearch Analyst Patti Freeman Evans. “The online retail environment is maturing, and online buyers have become more savvy about finding free shipping and deeper discounts.”

According to the report, 65 percent of online users shopped via the Internet in 2005, and that figure is expected to only climb to 71 percent in 2010, meaning that even as the number of Internet users worldwide continues to climb, growth of the population of online buyers is beginning to reach a plateau. However, in 2010, the Internet is expected to influence nearly half of all online sales, compared to just 27 percent in 2005. These numbers reflect sales made in traditional channels but affected by online research, and JupiterResearch predicts these Internet-influenced sales will grow at a faster rate over the next five years than actual online sales. Some 85 percent of online shoppers said they used the Internet to research their offline purchases in 2005.

“The fact that the Internet will influence nearly half of total retail sales in 2010 is staggering statistic for a shopping channel that will have been around for little more than 15 years by 2010,” said David Schatsky, Senior Vice President of Research at JupiterResearch.

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