Online sales to reach $211 bln in 2006

Online sales are expected to rise 20% in 2006 to $211 bln, with pet supplies and cosmetics experiencing leading growth, Forrester Research reports. Excluding travel, 2006 sales are expected to increase 22% to $138 bln. Computer hardware and software, cars, and apparel, accessories and footwear are expected to be the largest non-travel categories driving the increase, with anticipated sales of $16.8 bln, $15.9 bln and $13.8 bln.

Sales of pet supplies, cosmetics and fragrances will increase faster than other categories at growth rates of over 30%. In 2005 online sales rose 25% to $176.4 bln, with 28% growth in online purchases excluding travel. Total Internet sales in 2004 and 2003 reached $141.4 bln and $114.1 bln, respectively.