The e-commerce infrastructure is still growing. More than 85% of the world’s Internet users surveyed have purchased something online, according to The Nielsen Company’s “Global Online Survey on Internet Shopping Habits,” conducted in October and November 2007. The research company said that more than half of Internet users had made at least one purchase online within the past month. “An emerging middle class and alternative online payment options are spurring online buying in large developing e-commerce economies like China and India,” said Jeffrey Grau, senior analyst at eMarketer.
Mr. Grau noted that much work remained to keep e-commerce growing. Developing countries typically have a tradition of cash-based transactions,” Mr. Grau said. “Much needs to be done to create confidence among buyers and sellers in the online purchasing process for these countries to reach their e-commerce potential.”
“Two years ago, approximately 10% of the world’s population (627 million) had shopped online,” said Bruce Paul, vice president of customized research at Nielsen US. “This number has increased by approximately 40% to 875 million.”
More than four out of 10 online buyers worldwide had purchased books from a Web merchant within the past three months. Clothing was the next most popular online purchasing category.
Travel was the fourth most popular online purchasing category. Travel is often one of the first retail categories to succeed in developing e-commerce economies,” Mr. Grau said. “Positive consumer experiences booking travel online creates confidence that can lead to purchases in other more complex e-commerce categories.”
Worldwide retail e-commerce is projected to grow through 2010, though at a decreasing rate of growth, according to JPMorgan’s “Nothing But Net” report. The investment firm predicted that retail e-commerce would bring in over $700 billion in 2010.