Online retail volume will reach $100 bln in 2004

U.S. Internet shoppers spent just over $170 mil on flowers, gifts, jewelry and watches in the 10 days ending Feb. 13, an increase of about 42% from the year-earlier period. “It’s safe to say that 2004 will be the year that consumer e-commerce breaks through the $100 bil threshold,” including travel but excluding auctions, said Daniel Hess, senior vice president at comScore Networks Inc. Last year online retailers booked $93 bil in sales, an increase of 27% from 2002. “The growth we’ve seen in online sales in the year to date is in line with the strong levels at which 2003 ended — around 35 to 40%,” Hess said.