Online retail, travel and event ticket sales hit $45 billion in the second quarter, a 16% increase from the year-earlier period, and a 3% increase from the first quarter, according to a new report from Forrester Research. This solid second quarter growth foreshadows continued strength that will bring online retail sales to $211 billion by year end, Forrester says.

Higher traffic and conversion rates contributed to the bulk of second quarter growth, according to the report. “Nielsen/NetRatings reported more than 10% growth in web traffic to retail web sites for the month of June alone,” Forrester says. “This growth was supplemented with higher conversion rates and larger average order values, as evidenced by industry behemoths eBay and, with both experienced revenue growth significantly higher than year-over-year web traffic for parallel categories.”

Forrester notes that Amazon’s electronics and general merchandise group, for example, had a 37% year-over-year lift in the second quarter while general merchandise web sites experienced just 10% growth in traffic.

Retail web sites in the food and home improvement sectors experienced strong double-digit increases in traffic during the quarter, boosted by the continued growth of home grocery delivery and the winding down of the housing boom, according to the report.

Source: Internet Retailer