eMarketer: E-Commerce Expected To Grow Double Digits Through 2012

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Like advertising, e-commerce sales recovered nicely in 2010, fueling greater hopes on the part of publishers for an additional revenue stream. In terms of how strong e-commerce was in the U.S., the space grew 14.8 percent to $165.4 billion, according to eMarketer. Those gains should hold steady through next year, then start to taper off slightly as the e-commerce market matures.

The eMarketer figures exclude travel, digital downloads and event tickets estimate 13.7 percent growth to $188.1 billion in 2011.

Obviously, daily deals site activity is seemingly everywhere, as the newspaper publishers try to either strike partnerships with or emulate sites like Groupon and Livingsocial. Also, magazine publishers like Hearst, Time Inc. (NYSE: TWX) and Condé Nast are also increasingly using affiliate sales as part of their advertising arrangements. As eMarketer analyst Jeffrey Grau noted in his report, mobile is also a major factor in the growth that e-commerce has seen.

As e-commerce sales rise, so will the number of Americans contributing to that total. About 87.5 percent of U.S. internet users ages 14 and older, or 178.5 million people, will browse or research products online this year, eMarketer said. Within the population segment, 83 percent will buy something online, making it a total of 148.1 million online buyers in 2011. By 2015, 170.3 million people, or 76.3 percent of the online population, will make a purchase on the web.

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Ed Dunn

This number is grossly understated as the definition of e-commerce has evolved dramatically. I think this is a real question that never been asked – what is e-commerce? I believe many people still see e-commerce as your web shopping cart application or e-tailing.

Gaming credits and mobile payments should be considered e-commerce and these sectors are growing fast. Cloud connected kiosks and next generation point-of-sale systems such as BlingNation should be considered e-commerce and a lot of players are rushing into this genre. Right now, I’m seeing more demand for payment processing jobs than any other type of online jobs that pays the big bucks.

And let’s not forget the emergence of peer-to-peer mobile payments like m-Pesa out in Kenya that is now showing up in other developing nations around the globe. All I’m saying is the “check out” button on a e-tailing site is no longer the definition of e-commerce today.

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