According to Forrester, an independent research company, US online retail sales will increase from USD231bn in 2013 to USD370bn by 2017, representing a 10% annual growth rate over the next five years. The US e-commerce sector already accounts for around 8 per cent of total retail sales in the US; this predicted growth will see the online market out strip the high street.
The same source estimates that European online sales will reach EUR191 billion by 2017; an increase of 10.5% compound annual growth rate from EUR128 billion in 2013. This forecast includes a breakdown by country retail spend as well as factors leading to continued growth. The UK is forecast to seen an increase in e-commerce sales from GBP39bn in 2013 to GBP55bn in 2017.
The US e-commerce sector is driven by two main factors, the increase smartphone and tablet usage, boosting the amount of time spent online by consumers, and increased investments by traditional retailers in their online sales divisions. Recent data shows that over half of US e-commerce consumers now own smartphones and regularly use them to research potential purchases, compare prices and find stores, and often purchasing goods and services directly through the device.
A spokesperson from SmartDebit commented, “As society continues to move into the digital era, the importance of organisations investing in e-commerce facilities is absolutely critical. In the UK, online retail already accounts for 13% of the total economy and is expected to increase to 15% in 2017. Western Europe’s online market will increase at a faster rate than the US over the next five years, meaning organisations must seriously look at their business models to incorporate this or risk falling behind the competition.”
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