Growth in internet commerce has not slowed down and may even be accelerating, according to the fourth annual Christmas poll conducted by Actinic Software of a sample of small and medium online retailers.
The companies surveyed reported an average 60% increase in web sales during November and December 2004, compared with the same period in 2003.
In 2003 the corresponding year-on-year increase in orders was 30%.
Sites polled ranged from 2004 start-ups taking a handful of orders, to mature ecommerce sites processing several thousand. The average number of orders over the period was 1570.
Some online retailers were almost overwhelmed by the increase in orders.
Sites also reported an average 80% increase in online turnover – indicating that the average order value has risen, as well as the average number of orders.
Actinic's chief executive Chris Barling said, “We may be seeing the first signs that the internet is impacting not just high street sales, but also the inclination of retailers to expand their real-world outlets.
"Each year adds to the feeling that the original dot-com boom hype wasn't so much wrong as too early."