• December 5, 2001

Wireless, TV To Register 10% of Online Sales by 2005: Gartner

Business to consumer (B2C) e-commerce continues to be virtually the exclusive domain of the desktop PC. According to a new study however, by 2005, 10.1 percent of B2C e-commerce sales in the U.S. will be completed via television sets and mobile devices.

The study, by GartnerG2, said in 2001, 99.8 percent of B2C e-commerce dollars in the U.S. will be spent using Net-connected PCs.

The market researcher said the U.S. market for B2C e-commerce will grow to $227.7 billion by 2005. Of this amount, $204.8 billion worth of transactions will take place via PCs, $13.4 billion on TVs and $9.5 billion on mobile devices.

David Schehr, research director for GartnerG2, told Newsbytes orders on mobile devices and television sets will be relatively even, but slightly bigger ticket items will be sold via TVs.

"Each platform is good for different things, including the PC," said Schehr. "The computer is the jack of all trades for e-commerce, and it still will be dominant in 2005. People can use it for setting bookmarks and favorites. Also, it has flexibility of input, including keyboard and mouse, which allows more control and makes search functions easier."

On the negative side, he added, the PC is not portable, except for laptops. "And most people do not have high-speed wireless connections for laptops."

Schehr foresees the use of TVs and mobile devices as "situational," and emphasized the importance of what he termed "hybrid commerce," which uses all three platforms in combination.

"Retailers need to teach consumers how to use all three synergistically. There is great potential here," he said. "For example, Internet grocery retail never took off, but many supermarket chains are allowing people to make orders online and pick up their items at an express lane."

Schehr predicted a future where consumers would use a PC to set up designated shopping lists for items needed weekly or monthly.

"Once those shopping lists are set up, people could then use a cell phone and order list No. 1, their weekly items, list No. 2, their monthly items, or list No. 3, their party items. They could show up an hour or two later and the items would be pre-packed for them," he said.

The key, Schehr asserted, is for people to use PCs in concert with the other platforms.

"You get something good from each one. The three together are worth more than the three apart," he said.

More information on GartnerG2 is available at www.gartnerg2.com .

--Reported by Michael Bartlett, Newsbytes.com, www.newsbytes.com .

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