Half Of Net Users Will Buy Online in 2002: eMarketer

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More than half of the 123.4 million U.S. Internet users age 14 and older will purchase goods and services online over the course of the year, research aggregator eMarketer predicted yesterday.


In 2001, business-to-consumer Internet sales totaled $49.8 billion, according to eMarketer. Online sales will grow to $75 billion in 2002 and reach $155.6 billion by 2005, the company predicted. The figures are part of eMarketer's recently released report, The North America eCommerce: B2C and B2B Report.


"As the online population grows, it becomes more diverse. In addition, long-term Internet users feel more comfortable shopping online, and do so from more locations," said Nevin Cohen, senior analyst at eMarketer, in a statement. "In the next few years, there will be even more convenient ways to shop, ranging from mobile options to television-based Internet devices."


As the economy continues to recover, the online BTC market is leading the way, eMarketer claimed. Online sales in the fourth quarter of 2001 increased 34.4 percent over the previous quarter. By comparison, all retail sales (both online and offline) grew by a significantly smaller margin in the quarter, only 9.5 percent.


"E-retailers that weathered the dot-com fallout now provide more detailed product information, advanced search and comparison functions, wider shipping options and better customer assistance than they did in 2000," Cohen said.


EMarketer, New York, aggregates and analyzes data from 1,000 research firms, consultancies, government agencies and other sources.


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