Online shopping, b2c ecommerce, is now befitting the central avenue of shopping in the US. Early shoppers were only the highly educated people otherwise known as the "techies." Times have altered and so has the customer base for online shopping. Now nearly everybody who owns a computer has made at least one online asset.
The "B2C E-Commerce in the US" report tracks the trends as online deal moves from strength to strength. With less cases of Web sites crashing and merchandise arriving late, retailers have been able to shift their focus from technical and operational issues to the business of refining Web site design and improving customer service.
Over the previous few years, b2c ecommerce retailers have improved their services in a number of ways. Customers can now return or pick up merchandise purchased online at a bricks-and-mortar store. New technologies and interfaces help consumers better evaluate products – it is almost like taking a virtual walk in a super market.
With transacting on the Internet becoming so easy and convenient and relatively safer, it is no wonder that b2c ecommerce is so popular today.
Market Size and Growth Of B2C Ecommerce
The US Department of Commerce (DOC) estimated that the US b2c ecommerce retail sales ending in 2003 were over $56 billion, compared to a little over $44 billion in 2002. The heaviest amount of the 2003 sales came in the 4th quarter during the holiday season.
The Future and Potential of B2C Ecommerce
There is a lot of room for online retail sales to grow, considering that they accounted for only 1.6% of total retail sales in 2003. Online retail has been steadily increasing its share of the revenue pie going back to 2000, when it represented 0.9% of total retail sales. There is nothing to indicate this trend won't continue.
Experts predict that online retail sales as a percentage of total retail sales will rise to about 3% by 2007. If online leisure travel sales, which are not part of the DOC's retail sales total, were included, then this forecast of the percentage of online to total retail sales would increase to 4.4%.
The day is not far when as shoppers move more and more seamlessly from online to offline to examine a purchase and make a transaction, we will stop differentiating between the two. B2C business will have actually here when it is seen as just another retail channel and not as a unique environment.
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ARTICLE SOURCE: http://www.articlesbase.com/ecommerce-articles/the-exciting-future-of-b2c-ecommerce-94865.html