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 BizRate.com'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

BizRate.com predicted that nearly $40 billion will be generated from retail e-commerce in 2000. BizRate.com'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.