One of the hallmarks of the internet is online shopping. Consumers can shop online 24- hours a day and from anywhere in the world via computers, tablets, and smartphones. Online transactions are known as e-commerce, because “the price and terms of the sale are negotiated over an internet.” In the U.S. economy, online shopping has become the dominant retail channel preferred by consumers. For example, in 2012 consumers spent $186.2 billion in online shopping. Furthermore, online shopping now accounts for “10 percent of total U.S. retail spending.” A Forrester Research study, “predicts that e-commerce will grow to . . . $317 billion by 2017.” The report further notes, that online retailers’ sales growth, have surpassed that of traditional retail stores. As a result, traditional retail stores are losing market share to online retailers. These figures highlight e-commerce’s impact in the marketplace.
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