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e-tail details Featured

9:43am EDT July 22, 2002
If you’re not yet convinced that e-commerce has a future, perhaps a recent report by Ernst & Young will change your mind.

The study, “Global Online Retailing,” predicts that U.S. online sales will reach $45 billion to $50 billion this year, nearly double 1999’s total. By 2002, consumers will spend about 36 percent of their “shopping money” on purchases over the Internet, up from the current 15 percent.

In the United States, the clear world leader in online consumer shopping, 39 million people shopped online in 1999, more than double the 17 million who did so in 1998. The report also says that in 1999, U.S. consumers made an average of 13 purchases online, more than double the number they made in 1998.

They spent an average $1,205 online, up from $230 in 1997.

Five other countries surveyed — Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Italy and France posted large gains in online shopping as well.

“Retailers must take a holistic approach to their business by examining every channel of distribution and have aggressive growth strategies in places,” says Stephanie Shern, global director of retail and consumer products for Ernst & Young. “Companies must also be willing to evaluate and evolve those strategies as well.”

Full survey findings are available at Ernst & Young’s Web site, www.ey.com.

Ray Marano