The following excerpt is from a post by Andrew Cole, editor, on The Etail blog. View the full post for more information on how e-commerce is expected to grow-- and why if you haven't considered taking your business online, now may be the time to give it some thought.
To absolutely no one’s surprise, it looks like America’s online shopping obsession will continue unabated.
A new report from Forrester Research says that online retail sales in the U.S. are expected to grow more than 57 percent to $414 billion by 2018, up from the $263 billion e-retail accounted for in 2013. With this jump, online sales will make up approximately 11 percent of all retail sales.
According to Forrester, millennials are playing a crucial role in this growth. As a generation that was raised with the Internet, 25 to 33-year-olds in particular are doing more of their spending online than any other age group. As this generation enters its prime spending years, its impact on e-commerce will magnify.
The report also notes the profound impact that the proliferation of mobile devices is having on e-commerce, as consumers are increasingly choosing to make purchases via mobile phones and tablets. While U.S. mobile retail sales accounted for only $8 billion in 2013 (that’s 3 percent of online sales and less than 1 percent of all retail sales), Forrester expects m-commerce to grow 33 percent annually through 2017.
While online retail’s pure revenue potential is certainly impressive, let’s not ignore the growing impact computers, smartphones, and tablets are having on in-store purchases, as well. With more and more retailers developing omni-channel strategies encompassing both digital and analog touch points, the bond between online and in-store is intensifying. In other words, e-commerce platforms are having a compound effect on sales.
As online sales continue to be an increasingly critical revenue source, U.S. retailers will look to build out their digital capabilities. But cutting edge companies understand that these capabilities will not only enhance online sales, they will help them find bold new ways to connect their digital and in-store experiences.