November 4, 2004, 12:00 AM

Q4 sales will reach $20 billion, comScore projects

Fourth-quarter online retail sales will reach $20 billion, resulting in full-year online sales of $65 billion, comScore projects in a report due out next week. Categories that will do well include jewelry & watches and furniture & appliances.

Fourth-quarter online retail sales will reach $20 billion, resulting in full-year online sales of $65 billion, comScore Networks Inc. projects in a report due out next week. Full-year sales will be up 20-25% over last year, comScore says. Through the end of September, sales were $45 billion, up 25% over a year ago.

ComScore says categories that will do particularly well in the fourth quarter will be jewelry and watches, where sales are up 52% in the first three quarters vs. last year, and furniture and appliances, where sales are up 74% in the first three quarters.

Major trends affecting Q4 sales and beyond are the spread of broadband Internet access from the home and the growing tenure of the average online user. ComScore reports that broadband users spend 50% more online than dial-up users. In addition, web users who have been online less than 2 years spend an average of $380 a year, while those online 3-6 years spend $540 annually; 7-9, $660 and 10+, $704.

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