Online retailing in the US and Canada should generate $US36 billion by the end of 1999, a 145 per cent increase over last year, according to a study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) for Shop.org, a trade association for online retailers.
Last year's $14.9 billion in online revenue represented 0.5 per cent of all retail sales, the report said, and 62 per cent came from retailers that had businesses before the Web, BCG and Shop.org said.
The top 50 retail sites accounted for three-quarters of the Internet market last year, while the top 10 sites grabbed 43 per cent of the revenue, said David Pecaut, BCG's senior VP and leader of the company's e-commerce practice. He declined to name specific companies.
Online orders last year rose 200 per cent from the prior year, as the number of online shoppers grew 300 per cent. Pecaut said the higher growth in shoppers versus orders showed consumers are still learning to trust and feel secure about online shopping.