The New York Times reported Sunday on a report released by, an online retail association, that e-commerce retail sales passed the $100 billion mark in 2003.

This is great news for web developers as retailers, both brick and mortar and online only, move toward profitability. This news not only encourages new retailers to join the “e-tailing” arena, but will also encourage established retailers to continuously review their online stores, generating re-designs, re-engineering and related projects for developers.

It appears the opportunities for developers will slowly shift from initial deployment of commerce sites, to e-marketing, online customer service tools and overhauls of functionality as new technology becomes available.

The Times story, notes that 67 percent of online-only retailers reported pre-tax profits, while between 85 and 93 percent of traditional retailers reported pre-tax profits (in a survey of 150 retailers by Forrester for

As these retailers remain focused on generating profits and continually measuring their budgets, this presents another venue in which open source platforms can be presented, thus providing a commercially viable solution which is sensitive to the economics of running an e-commerce site.