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What Does All This Mean?

We have established three critical components of online shopping. First, there is a growing base of devices that can connect to the Web and enable people to join and interact on the Web. That base of hardware and software is growing at a rate of more than 20 percent annually and, in terms of browsers, it is splitting between market leaders Netscape (25 percent) and Microsoft (75 percent). Second, there is a healthy universe of Web users that offers more desirable characteristics for online sellers than the general U.S. or world population. Third, there is strong evidence that online shopping can have inherent advantages that will attract shoppers to the Web, even if prices are no less than those offered by traditional stores. These three factors are brewing a market that, according to Jupiter Communications, will grow to more than $35 billion in 2002.

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