eMarketer: Consumers Keep Wallets Closed

After years of stellar growth rates of 20 percent and higher, e-commerce sales are poised to increase at a single-digit pace through 2012. Online retail sales growth is declining as the number of Internet buyers approaches saturation. The economic downturn adds additional downward pressure on sales.
eMarketer has lowered its U.S. retail e-commerce sales forecast due to the economic crisis. In 2008, online sales (excluding travel) will total $137 billion, up 7 percent year-over-year.
This will be the first year of single-digit growth since the U.S. Department of Commerce began estimating retail e-commerce sales in Q4 1999.
Greater spending by incumbent online buyers is now the catalyst of e-commerce growth.
Online buyers are shifting a greater share of their total purchases from stores to the Web in search of more convenience, broader product selection and cost savings.