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From Staff Reports
More than a decade after Internet pioneer Amazon.com (AMZN) burst upon the scene and revolutionized online retailing, experts are projecting that Internet-based shopping is destined to fall out of favor.
In the next five to 10 years, those who are already comfortable shopping online are likely to grow even more so. But the bulk of the folks who haven’t already made purchases will likely be staying on the sidelines, experts told The Associated Press.
“Pretty much, most of the people who are ever going to be buying online are online,” said Patti Freeman Evans, senior retail analyst with marketing-research firm Jupiter Research. “From the standpoint of behavior change and big shifts in adoption, it’s happened and it’s done.”
Jupiter is expecting online retailing to dip below double-digit percentage growth rates sometime by around 2010, and to plateau after that.. Forrester Research expects U.S. online sales to grow from $132 billion in 2006 to $271 billion in 2011 — but still to comprise just 9% of overall retail sales.
Still, online retailers do have growth potential, analysts say. Even consumers who don’t do much of their regular shopping online are expected to turn increasingly to their computers to research such big-ticket purchases as homes and cars. As online retailing growth slows, stores that can integrate their online and brick-and-mortar operations have some very nice prospects, experts say. They are experimenting with online ordering for local store pickup.