E-Commerce Sales Growth and Expectations

E-Commerce in the Early Years

During the 1990s expectations for e-commerce were very high. One of those expectations was that through the Internet small business owners could easily market their products around the country and around the world. While this might have become a reality for a handful of businesses, many that attempted e-commerce ended their promising venture with disappointment. There are many reasons for these earlier failed promises of the Internet, but one of the main reasons for failure was that the Internet industry simply overestimated the public's trust in the Internet. Many consumers simply did not trust giving their personal information online. Other reasons were the lack of functionality in web site design and the lack of understanding of Internet marketing. Also the slower dial-up Internet connections seriously restricted the possibilities offered by the Internet.

Finally E-Commerce Delivers

Today improvements in web site design and functionality combined with high speed broadband Internet connections greatly improve the online shopping experience, while improvements in Internet security and increasing public awareness has helped to boost consumer confidence. And a better understanding of Internet marketing and SEO allows savvy small business owners to successfully market their e-commerce business within the rapidly growing e-commerce industry.

The Internet is now a functional medium for consumers, information seekers, business owners and entrepreneurs. According to the online news source Internetnews.com, online shopping experienced a substantial increase during the 2004 holiday season with a 25% increase in online spending. According to research done by Goldman Sachs, Harris Interactive and Nielson/Netratings, during 2004 e-commerce sales were up to 23.4 billion dollars. That is a gain of 4.7 billion dollars from 2003. What drove this increase? With rapid improvements in Internet technologies and increased public awareness more shoppers are realizing the benefits of shopping online.

The main reasons more shoppers went to the Internet for their holiday shopping:

  1. Convenience
  2. Avoiding Crowds
  3. More Variety
  4. Better Bargains

The top selling category this past holiday season was clothing with 3.8 billion dollars in online sales. This made the clothing category responsible for 16% of total online sales over the holidays. Toys and videos were responsible for 11% and consumer electronics were responsible for 10% of the 2004 holiday sales. Jewelry had a major increase up 113% this past season.

Where's it Going?

Increasing availability of broadband Internet services combined with new applications and marketing research will allow e-commerce sales to rise for years to come. Currently 50% of the households in the United States have broadband access, and as this percentage increases this rapid e-commerce growth will continue . The Internet is now delivering what we expected from it several years ago. Getting into e-commerce today is still considered the ground floor. Maybe it's time for your idea.