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SHERMAN OAKS, Calif. - More than 600 million people worldwide will have access to the Web by the end of this year, and they will spend more than $1 trillion shopping online, according to a new study cited by the E-Commerce Times.
"Once people get over the security and privacy hiccups, as well as other problems that are not directly related to e-commerce, and have access to wider product offerings, e-commerce will become as widespread as offline commerce," Carol Glasheen, program vice president of IDC's Global Research Organization, told the E-Commerce Times.
The study finds that e-commerce grew to $600 billion in 2001, a 68 percent increase over 2000.
While the United States now accounts for 40 percent of all money spent online, that number will drop to about 38 percent by 2006 as Asia and Western Europe increase their online spending, according to IDC.
Business-to-business (B2B) makes up by far the largest share of Web sales, the study finds. In fact, it is expected to account for 83 percent of online sales in 2002 and 88 percent in 2006, the study finds. One reason why the United States is currently ahead of the game is that B2B is catching on internationally somewhat later than it did in the United States, according to Glasheen.