E-Commerce & Internet Industry Market Research

Competitive Intelligence, Business Analysis, Forecasts, Market Size, Trends, Companies, Statistics

Available Data Services: Custom Research Projects, Database Subsription or PDF eBooks

E-Commerce & Internet OVERVIEW

The global internet audience continues to grow steadily, with the worldwide base of broadband internet users (including fixed and wireless) standing in excess of 5.35 billion as 2024 began according to DataReportal.  This vast base of high-speed internet users encourages businesses to innovate in order to offer an ever-evolving array of online services.  Thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, even groceries have moved into the fast lane, as online grocery and household product sales are widely available, while consumers enjoy same-day delivery options. 

Top Internet Trends
=         AI-powered search
=         Generative AI tools
=         Booming online gaming
=         Growth in regulatory concerns and efforts, including consumer privacy, protection of children’s online activities, free speech vs. controlled posting and anti-trust issues
=         Social platforms extending into additional services, such as merchandising and ecommerce
=         Migration of entertainment to streaming services by subscription, and away from traditional cable, satellite and broadcast radio/tv
=         Software as a Service (SaaS)
Analysts at eMarketer reported American ecommerce sales in 2023 of an estimated $1.177 trillion, up significantly from $815.4 billion in 2020.  This figure includes all goods and services purchased using the internet but excludes travel and event tickets.  On the same basis, global internet ecommerce sales exceeded $5.78 trillion in 2023, according to eMarketer.  China had an estimated 2023 total of $2.93 trillion.
Digital advertising in the U.S., during 2022, was a projected $239.89 billion, according to eMarketer, up 13.6% from 2021.  Mobile advertising was projected at $168.88 billion for the year.
Growth in broadband subscriptions worldwide continues at a strong pace.  The number of American homes and businesses with broadband access capabilities topped 126.8 million by the end of 2023, according to Plunkett Research estimates, thanks in part to modest monthly fees at internet service providers.  This number does not include mobile broadband subscriptions, estimated at another 390.3 million devices, including smartphones.
A Brief History of the Online SectorThe ecommerce and internet sector has evolved rapidly, going through several distinct stages since its beginnings in the 1970s:
The Internet Is Born:  First, there were the early days, when the internet was seen by many as a realm for techies only, one that would produce few, if any, commercial enterprises.  Initially designed in 1973, the internet was a series of communication protocols written by Vinton Cerf as part of a project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).  The first demonstration of a three-network internet protocol-based connection occurred in November 1977.  Eventually, a well-enabled internet was rolled out in 1983, primarily as a failsafe method of defense communications and as a means for researchers at various universities to communicate.
The Web Is Created:  Next, the World Wide Web and the coding language of HTML were conceived in 1989 and implemented between 1990 and 1993 by Tim Berners-Lee, enabling a never-ending hyperlinked cyber world where sharing unlimited data became user-friendly thanks to the magic of linked pages.
The Boom Ensues:  Starting in 1993 and 1994, entrepreneurs and financiers realized that hyperlinked, electronically posted data could be commercialized with vast, global potential.  Amazon.com was launched in 2004.  A dramatic revolution in retailing, publishing and entertainment was visualized, one in which consumers and businesspeople alike would eagerly pay for the convenience of online shopping, trading and viewing of published data.  An economic boom ensued, the likes of which hadn’t been seen since the beginnings of earlier technological breakthroughs:  electricity, the railroad, the telephone, the automobile and the passenger-carrying airliner.
Thousands of hopeful new businesses were launched.  Capitalization for these new internet-enabled companies ranged from cash-strapped ventures launched in garages with Visa card credit lines, to companies like WebVan that received vast sums from professionally managed venture capital firms only to fail miserably.  Roughly 6,000 new firms of significant size raised a cumulative total of more than $100 billion in venture capital in the boom period (1994-2000).  About 450 of these companies sold their stock to the public via IPOs (initial public offerings).  Stock markets soared and instant billionaires were made, although many of those stocks later plummeted.  Venture funds that cashed out early reaped phenomenal gains, and financiers easily found additional investors for new venture capital pools.  Companies with little or no sales and profits, led by the success of Netscape’s IPO, found eager buyers for their newly issued stocks.  The NASDAQ index of stocks rose to 5,000 by early in the year 2000, and the Chairman of the Federal Reserve warned of “exuberant optimism.”  Some said this boom couldn’t last—others said it was the beginning of a “new economy” that would last forever.
The Bust:  In mid-2000, the internet industry entered a bleak and dreary phase after the NASDAQ collapsed in March, bringing the entire sector to its knees.  By October 10, 2002, the NASDAQ was down to 1,108 from a high of 5,132 in March 2000.  Hundreds of thousands of people lost their jobs.  Stock portfolio values plummeted.  Thousands of firms closed their doors, filed bankruptcy, downsized or were scooped up at bargain prices by competitors.  Sellers of hardware, software, consulting and telecommunications services suffered mightily.  Entrepreneurs found it nearly impossible to raise funds to launch or sustain their businesses.  The dream of a “new economy” became a nightmare for some—profits still matter; business cycles still happen.
The Reality Phase:  By early 2003, this sector’s dark clouds were abating, and a “reality phase” was taking shape.  Well-conceived, internet-based businesses were proving their value.  Consumers had become devoted fans of buying over the internet.  Businesses of all types found that the internet creates true operating efficiencies and drives profitability (such as booking travel reservations online rather than through costly human agents). “Efficiency” is the most important factor in the ecommerce and internet sector’s newfound success.  Consumers find the internet to be a terrific way to efficiently expend their shopping and banking efforts.  Consumers of all types use eBay to look for bargains, autotrader.com to look for cars at great prices and iTunes to download music.  Corporate procurement managers find the internet to be the most efficient way to purchase needed goods and inventory.  Billions of people worldwide find e-mail, instant messaging and VOIP telephony to be the most efficient ways to communicate.
Low Costs Fuel the Steady Global Growth:  Today, access to fast internet, both wired and wireless, is available at bargain prices in a vast footprint across the globe.  Even in relatively undeveloped nations, both consumers and businesses have grown to rely on the internet for everyday needs.  Inexpensive devices and wireless networks continue to proliferate in most of the world.  Mobile computing is accelerating at blazing speed thanks to moderately-priced smartphones and service plans, offering fast internet access and very advanced features. Meanwhile, the cost of developing and maintaining web sites has plummeted, opening the door to millions of self-funded entrepreneurs, and making it easier for venture capital firms to fund startups using low amounts of cash.  Trends such as open software and cloud computing, along with modular software development tools, have made it easier, faster and cheaper to start sophisticated web sites. 
Artificial Intelligence (AI):  Artificial intelligence is rapidly and dramatically changing three segments of the internet:
1)    Creative applications.  Generative AI (such as ChatGPT) is enabling content creators to use online tools to write text, design advertising, generate online games and virtual worlds, write software code, create websites and generate graphics.
2)    AI-driven search.  Search engines are adding artificial intelligence (AI)-driven features that are dramatically changing the nature and effectiveness of search results.
3)    Ecommerce sites.  Many sites are utilizing AI to better tailor merchandise offerings and to push both streaming entertainment and shopping suggestions to consumers on a predictive and personalized basis.
Cybersecurity and Regulation:  The global regulatory environment for the internet, online advertising, social media and ecommerce is more daunting than ever.  Governments are attempting to keep up with complex technological advances (such as AI) and privacy issues while addressing anti-trust and competitive concerns and disastrously failing to protect businesses and consumers to any reasonable degree against online fraud and exploitation.  Major regulatory acts have been passed in a few areas, particularly in consumer privacy.  This puts internet-based companies in a position of continually attempting to meet evolving government requirements while evading potential fines that can run into the billions of dollars or Euros.
One of the biggest, and most poorly addressed, issues is losses and treats relating to cybersecurity, ranging from hackers and fraudsters to online financial fraud, malware, exploitation of children, ransomware and even potential threats from hidden back doors and network/system entry points that could bring down a region’s entire energy, water or transportation infrastructure, or disable military communications and command systems.  Unfortunately, AI is empowering fraudsters to generate emails, mimic voices, steal identities and scam both consumers and businesses on a global basis.


Top Companies Profiled

The following is a partial listing for this industry. As a subscriber, you will have access to the leading companies and top growth companies. This includes publicly-held, private, subsidiary and joint venture companies, on a global basis as well as in the U.S.

Hundreds of Top Companies Profiled, Including:


Key Findings:

A complete market research report, including forecasts and market estimates, technologies analysis and developments at innovative firms within the E-Commerce & Internet Business Industry. Gain vital insights that can help shape strategy for business development, product development and investments.

Key Features:

  • Business trends analysis
  • In-depth industry overview
  • Technology trends analysis
  • Forecasts
  • Spending, investment, and consumption discussions
  • In-depth industry statistics and metrics
  • Industry employment numbers

Additional Key Features Include:

Industry Glossary

Industry Contacts list, including Professional Societies and Industry Associations

Profiles of industry-leading companies

  • U.S. and Global Firms
  • Publicly held, Private and Subsidiaries
  • Executive Contacts
  • Revenues
  • For Public Companies: Detailed Financial Summaries
  • Statistical Tables

Key Questions Answered Include:

  • How is the industry evolving?
  • How is the industry being shaped by new technologies?
  • How is demand growing in emerging markets and mature economies?
  • What is the size of the market now and in the future?
  • What are the financial results of the leading companies?
  • What are the names and titles of top executives?
  • What are the top companies and what are their revenues?

This feature-rich report covers competitive intelligence, market research and business analysis—everything you need to know about the E-Commerce & Internet Business Industry.

Plunkett Research Provides Unique Analysis of the Following Major Trends Affecting the E-Commerce & Internet Business

  1. Introduction to the E-Commerce & Internet Business
  2. Bricks, Clicks and Catalogs Create Synergies While Online Sales Growth Surges
  3. Amazon’s Online Market Share Dominates/Temu & Shein Compete Aggressively)
  4. Package and Food Delivery by Drone
  5. Wi-Fi Enables Wireless Traffic Growth, Including the Internet of Things (IoT)
  6. Global Internet Market Tops 5.40 Billion Users/Ultrafast Broadband Expands, both Fixed and Wireless
  7. Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Gains Traction
  8. Cloud Computing and Software as a Service (SaaS) Point the Way to the Future
  9. China Is the World’s Largest E-Commerce Market and Continues to Boom
  10. India Is the New E-Commerce Battle Ground
  11. Overview of the Social Media Industry/TikTok Soars to 150 U.S. Million Users, Faces Ownership Legislation
  12. Social Media Rakes in Global Online Shopping and Ad Revenues
  13. Digital & Search Advertising Has Larger Share of U.S. Advertising Market Than TV
  14. Programmatic Ad Buying Dominates the Digital Media Market
  15. Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) /Hotels Fight to Keep Control of the Customer
  16. Pandora and Spotify Lead in Streaming Music Via Internet Radio but Face Challenge from Apple Music/SiriusXM Tops 33.97 Million Subscribers
  17. Overview of the Mobile Apps Industry
  18. Quality of Care and Health Care Outcomes Data Are Available Online, Creating a New Level of Transparency
  19. Smartphones and Neobanks Replace Bank Branches and Tellers
  20. Insurance Direct Selling and E-Commerce Grow
  21. The Internet of Things (IoT) and M2M to Boom, Enhanced by Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Open New Avenues for Hacking
  22. Designers and Manufacturers Bypass the Middleman with Direct-to-Consumer Online Business Models
  23. Fashion Rental Pioneered by Online Apparel Firm Rent the Runway
  24. Smaller Satellites (SmallSats and CubeSats) and Low Earth Orbit Revolutionize Telecommunications
  25. Sharing Economy Gains Market Share in Travel with Online Sites Like Airbnb, Vrbo and Many Global Competitors
  26. Digital Assistants Include Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home/Alexa and Similar Software Power Third-Party Developers
  27. Amazon Becomes One of the World’s Leading Sellers of Apparel and Shoes
  28. The Metaverse Has Difficulties Gaining Steam
  29. OpenAI (ChatGPT), StabilityAI, Anthropic (Claude) and Others Launch Impressive Tools that Generate Text, Art, Code and Smart ChatBots
  30. Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality and 3-D Technologies Create Opportunities for the Tech Industry/Immersion Games to Grow
  31. Regulatory Environment Is Challenging for Online Businesses and Social Media

Plunkett Research Provides In-Depth Tables for the Following E-Commerce & Internet Business Statistics

  1. Ecommerce & Internet Business Statistics and Market Size Overview
  2. U.S. Computer Software & Related Services Quarterly Revenue: Q4 2022-Q3 2023
  3. U.S. Retail Trade and Ecommerce Sales: 2019-2022
  4. Total & Ecommerce Sales for Electronic Shopping & Mail-Order Houses, by Merchandise Line, U.S.: 2019-2022
  5. Internet Publishing & Broadcasting & Web Search Portals: Estimated Revenue U.S.: 2017-2023
  6. Internet Access Technologies Compared
  7. Number of Business & Residential High Speed Internet Lines, U.S.: 2019-2024
  8. Amazon.com, Inc. Annual Sales & Income: 2017-2023
  9. Employment in Ecommerce & Internet-related Fields, U.S.: 2002-2023
  10. Estimated Quarterly U.S. Retail and Ecommerce Sales: 1st Quarter 2012-3rd Quarter 2023

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eBook or Book:

This industry onlyPublication date: Mar 2024
ISBN-13: 978-1-64788-522-9
ISBN-13: 978-1-64788-028-6