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commerce spending could reach $327 billion by 2012

March 6, 2012

Consumers in the U.S. could spend up to 50 percent more online by 2012, a report by Forrester Research predicts.

Consumers in the U.S. could spend up to 50 percent more online by 2012, a report by Forrester Research predicts.

Last year, Americans spent at least $202 billion on ecommerce products and services, and that number could grow significantly. The report anticipates that online sales could reach $226 billion within the year.

By analyzing monthly spending figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau, researchers have estimated that online sales growth could increase 45 percent over the next few years, up to $327 billion.

The study predicts that the growth won’t be fueled by an influx of competitors so much as an improvement of current channels and accessibility. Mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, are making it easier for consumers to get on board with online shopping and can sometimes encourage impulse sales, according to Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Mulpuru.

Currently, 167 million consumers – 15 percent of shoppers overall – buy from online store fronts via virtual credit card terminals, a number that could increase to roughly 200 million in 2016. Online loyalty programs that offer free or expedited shipping could also contribute to sales growth and encourage recurring payment processing on the retailer’s site. 

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