Business-to-consumer (B2C) ecommerce revenues in the US are predicted to rise sharply in the next couple of years, according to analysts at eMarketer.
In its latest eCommerce:B2C Report - which aggregates and analyses data from more than 100 sources - eMarketer claims that last year US consumers spent $38.5 billion but that this will quadruple to a whopping $156 billion by 2005.
And it predicts that the US will be home to almost 80 million online shoppers by the end of the year.
However, in what could be bad news for dotcoms, it found that more and more eshoppers are turning to "trusted" offline etailers such as Wal-Mart and K-Mart when shopping online.
Said Geoff Ramsey, CEO of eMarketer: "It's clear that the Internet has been accepted and is evolving as a key distribution channel - not a separate business entity - for traditional merchants.
"The lines are rapidly blurring between traditional business operations and the Internet pure-plays, to the benefit of the companies with the strongest brand names, largest customer bases and strongest financial positions," he said.
Elsewhere, the latest figures from NetValue showed that ecommerce activity in the UK had increased in during August.
The research measures the number of secure connections made on ecommerce Web sites - an indication that trading is taking place - but does not place any monetary value on the increased activity. ®