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Online retail sales expected to continue growing

February 28, 2012

Last year, over half of Americans bought something online, spending more than $200 billion collectively through online credit card processing services, and that number is expected to grow

Last year, over half of Americans bought something online, spending more than $200 billion collectively through online credit card processing services, and that number is expected to grow. According to a study by Forrester Research, internet sales are projected to climb to $327 billion by 2016, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Forrester research analyst Sucharita Mulpuru predicts that online payments will account for nine percent of all retail transactions by that time. Currently, ecommerce transactions represent 7 percent of total sales.

The rise in online retailing will be fueled by both new and current online shoppers spending more. Those shoppers will continue to be influenced by ecommerce discounts and on-the-go impulse purchases, the study suggests.

Forrester’s research points out that loyalty programs, tablet popularity and flash-sale sites have also contributed. Websites optimized for tablets, such as Apple’s iPad, can encourage customers to buy products on impulse. Users expect to find the best deals online, which also drives traffic.

Over the holiday season, more than 70 percent of shoppers turned to web-based stores, which they believed had the best deals. Retailers can boost sales and attract customers by offering free shipping and other online promotions when customers enter information for online credit card processing. 

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