Online Shoppers Going Forth, Multiplying

May 18, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Retail & E-Commerce

The number of online shoppers is still increasing, but that growth will be slowing; still, multichannel retailers won’t feel the slowdown as the internet continues to drive offline purchases as well, according to a new report from eMarketer.

Nearly 8 out of 10 US online users (78.5%) age 14 and older – almost 139 million consumers – will make purchases online, with fully 8 of 10 (80.0%) forecast to do so in 2011, writes eMarketer.

At the midway point from this year to 2011, online shoppers are projected to number some 149 million, or 79.7% of US online users age 14+.

The 2006-2011 compound annual growth rate in the number of online shoppers is forecast at 3%, whereas from 2003 to 2005 it was 8%, according to the report, “US Retail E-Commerce: Entering the Multi-Channel Era.”

Despite that projected slowdown, which is certain to affect pureplay e-tailers, prospects for multichannel retailers abound.

Adults online on average visit at least four sites when doing product research, even if they eventually make the purchase offline, according to Frank About Women; moreover, some 37% of US online shoppers browse a website but then buy the sought-for product in a store, according to an e-tailing group study.

Moreover, the same cross-channel shopping study found that the offline channel that sends the most shoppers online is catalogs – cited by 36% of online shoppers.

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