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Healthy Growth for Ecommerce Sales in 2010

Growth rates will taper as online retail matures

NEW YORK, NY (March 17, 2011)—After strong growth in 2010, the turnaround for online retail sales is expected to continue this year, according to a new forecast by eMarketer.

eMarketer estimates US retail ecommerce sales forecast to grow 13.7% to $188.1 billion in 2011. Over the next four years eMarketer expects double-digit growth to taper off as continues to mature.

According to the US Department of Commerce, US retail ecommerce sales–excluding travel, digital downloads and event tickets–reached $165.4 billion last year, for 14.8% growth over 2009.

“Two major trends that will fuel online buying growth are mobile commerce and daily deal sites like Groupon,” said Jeffrey Grau, eMarketer principal analyst and author of a forthcoming report on US retail ecommerce. “Both opportunities are expected to have strong sales growth over the next five years.”

eMarketer’s US retail ecommerce forecast model measures the market from both the retailer and consumer sides. This online retail ecommerce sales forecast is based on an analysis of the latest historical retail ecommerce estimates from the US Department of Commerce, as well as macroeconomic trends and research from firms that track ecommerce sales.

As ecommerce sales rise, so will the number of Americans contributing to that total. eMarketer estimates 87.5% of US internet users ages 14 and older, or 178.5 million people, will browse or research products online this year. Of that group, 83% will make a purchase online, for a total of 148.1 million online buyers this year. By 2015, 170.3 million people, or 76.3% of the online population, will make a purchase on the web.

“Most of the growth in ecommerce is coming from incumbent online buyers shifting more of their spending from stores to the internet rather than from the spending power of new online buyers,” said Grau.

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Posted on March 17, 2011.