Forrester Research says, Internet retail sales in the U.S. will grow 10% a year through 2015 as shoppers spend more time online - in this excerpt from WSJ ...and the implications aren’t good for brick-and-mortar stores.
According to a new report out today, U.S. e-commerce sales grew 12.6% in 2010 to $176 billion. That total will grow to $279 billion in 2015, writes Forrester analyst Sucharita Mulpuru.
The 2010 growth rate outpaced that of 2009, when e-commerce grew 11%. The usual suspects aided e-commerce’s rise: the economy’s recovery, more first-time online shoppers and greater spending per online shopper. E-commerce will grow over the next four years as shoppers continue to shift their spending from physical stores to online ones, the report says. Increased use of smartphones and tablet computers, greater merchandise selection and new business models, such as daily-deals sites such as Groupon, will also aid growth.
Online sales remain a relatively small part of the overall retail market. Internet sales in 2010 accounted for 8% of total retail sales, and Mulpuru projects that figure will rise to 9% this year and to 11% in 2015.
Still, Mulpuru says this trend does not bode well for brick-and-mortar stores. Not only are customers increasingly shopping online, but savvy in-store customers are also armed with smartphones that can help them find better deals elsewhere or score price-matching offers. “Companies need to think about the permanent implications of smaller margins on stores in the longer-term future and how their multichannel initiatives can help to offset this trend,” Mulpuru writes.