RealTime IT News

Report: Online Retailing Quadrupled in 1999

Online retail sales in 1999 increased fourfold from 1998, totaling an estimated $16.2 billion, up from $4.5 billion the previous year, according to a new industry report.

And online buyers placed more than 176 million retail orders -- almost a 300 percent increase over 1998, according to's fourth quarter Consumer Online Report.

The figures are based on the experiences of more than 1.3 million online buyers who participated in point-of-sale surveys at thousands of retail Web sites.

The report also showed that the average household income for online buyers in fourth quarter 1999 was $81,200; in contrast, the average household income for first-time buyers was $67,100, evidence that online buying is becoming more mainstream.

The report also shows that women are embracing e-commerce in record numbers, with 58 percent of all new online orders placed by females.

Other key findings:

  • Nearly 45 percent of 1999 revenues were generated during the fourth quarter alone
  • Web referrals were the No. 1 traffic driver to merchant sites, accounting for 47 percent of online sales. Print referrals lagged far behind in the No. 2 slot, at 19 percent
  • During the fourth quarter of 1999, average sales per day peaked on Tuesdays at $98 million, followed by Mondays at $96 million Weekends were slower for online buying, with Saturdays at $56 million and Sundays at $66 million predicted that nearly $40 billion will be generated from retail e-commerce in 2000.'s proprietary customer ratings of their e-commerce experiences are derived from more than 3,600 online stores where direct customer feedback and transactional information is acquired at the point of every purchase.