Consumer E-Commerce Expected to Reach $380 Billion In 2003

According to a report by industry analyst firm Dataquest, a unit of Gartner Group, Inc. (NYSE: IT), business-to-consumer e-commerce is expected to reach $380 billion (US$) worldwide in 2003.

While the majority of e-commerce spending is currently attributed to business-to-business transactions, this report focuses on the sharp increase expected in the business-to-consumer sector.

International Companies Learn from U.S. Mistakes

Dataquest also predicts a rapid overall growth of e-commerce in the years leading up to 2003. This year alone, worldwide e-commerce is expected to reach $31.2 billion, up from $11.2 billion in 1998. Similar U.S. figures foresee a 1999 tally of $20.5 billion, rising sharply to $147 billion in 2003.

“The reduced costs of Internet access and the growth of locally based online merchants will drive the birth of large-scale e-tailing throughout the world,” said Blaine Mathieu, senior industry analyst for Dataquest’s E-Commerce Worldwide program. “On a regional basis, the so-called brick-and-mortar businesses outside of the United States have the advantage of watching consumere-commerce develop over the last two years and are determined not to repeat the mistakes of the real-world retailers who were caught off guard by the e-commerce revolution.”

Europe Beginning to Explode

The European business-to-consumer market is projected to grow from $5.4 billion in 1999 to more than $115 billion in 2003. “The advent of the free Internet accounts is dramatically increasing the number of Internet users in Europe,” said Mathieu. “Relatively high penetration of smart cards, digital wallets and other secure payment methods is reducing security concerns.”

“Consumer e-commerce in Europe is promoted by the increased development of homegrown solutions, utilizing local currencies, languages and distribution channels,” Mathieu added. “Customers in other regions of the world no longer have to order from ane-tailer based in the United States.”

The study was produced by Dataquest’s E-Commerce Worldwide, a program designed to help executives, product managers, strategic planners and investors capitalize on emerging opportunities by providing research ad analysis on e-commerce.

About The Companies

Based in San Jose, California, Dataquest provides market intelligence for the high-technology and financial communities on technology industries such as semiconductors, computer systems and peripherals, communications, document management, and software.

The Gartner Group, headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, provides clients with products and services in the areas of IT advisory services, measurement, research and consulting. The company was founded in 1979.

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