August 12, 2004, 12:00 AM

Online retail spending on merchandise keeps on rising, says Forrester

New households going online and more spending by those already there will drive up consumer spending on the Internet to account for about 13% of all general merchandise retail spending by 2010, says the latest Forrester Research online spending report.

New households going online and more online spending from those already there will drive up consumer spending on the Internet to account for about 13% of all general merchandise retail spending by 2010, according to Forrester Research Inc.’s latest projections in a new report, “U.S. eCommerce Overview: 2002 to 2010.”

Total retail online spending in general merchandise will reach $151.3 billion by 2010, up from $75.7 billion this year, according to Forrester. Those numbers exclude online ticket sales projected by Forrester at $9.4 billion in 2010, up from $4.3 billion this year. Forrester projects additional online sales of about $155.5 billion in 2010 from the combined category of automobiles and auto parts/food and beverages/travel, up from $65.6 billion for the category this year.

The largest category within general merchandise in terms of dollar volume purchased online will stay on top in 2010, according to Forrester’s forecast. That’s home products, where online spending is projected to climb to $43.3 billion in 2010, up from $15.4 billion this year. Though it’s projected to pull in more dollars than any other product category within general merchandise, however, online spending in home products will still represent only about 8% of all category spending in 2010.

It’s a different story for computer hardware and software. In 2010, 54% of consumer purchases in that category, amounting to $17.4 billion, will be purchased online, says Forrester. That’s up from $12 billion purchased online this year. One of the biggest gainers projected in terms of dollar volume is the apparel category. Currently about $11.7 billion, online category spending is expected to reach $28.4 billion in 2010, or about 12% of all apparel sales.

Other categories projected to significantly increase in terms of the dollar volume of online sales include flowers/cards/gifts, projected at $10.1 billion or 19% of all sales in the category in 2010, up from $3.8 billion this year; tools/hardware at $8.6 billion or 5% of all category online by 2010, up from $1.3 billion this year; and sporting goods/equipment, projected at $8.4 billion or 13% of all category sales by 2010, up from $3.2 billion this year.

 

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