Online retailing became big business in 1998, as millions of people placed orders for holiday gifts online and retailers scrambled to upgrade their distribution networks to cope with the growth. Companies planning for the growth of online retailing need reliable estimates of the growth of online shopping. Data about online consumer purchasing behavior are also needed to help companies define their online retail strategies for Web site design, online advertising, market segmentation, product variety, inventory holding and distribution. Forecasts are more likely to be reliable if they are based on the behavior of online consumers, rather than consumers' stated intentions, or worse, the guesses offered by Web marketing "experts."
Journal of Interactive Marketingvol.
14, (January 01, 2000):