U.S. Leads Online Shopping

Online sales in the U.S. will double to between $45 billion and $50 billion this year, as 17% of PC-owning consumers buy from Internet sites, according to a survey by Cleveland-based consultancy Ernst & Young LLP. In the report Global Online Retailing, sponsored by the National Retail Federation, E&Y states that the U.S. has more online shoppers than the UK (10%), Canada (9%), Australia (5%), France (2%), and Italy (1%). In the U.S., 39 million people shopped online in 1999, an increase of more than 100% from 17 million in 1998. Thirty-nine percent of U.S. online buyers made 10 or more purchases via the Internet. By comparison, Australians making frequent purchases were at 20%; Canada, the UK, and France are at 15%; and Italy trails at 7%, according to the survey.

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