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Forrester Research: U.S. Web Retail Sales To Reach $249 Billion By 2014

March 9, 2010

The shift from stores to internet is happening right before us.  I don’t think this study factors in the two dramatic expectations:
1. The tipping point is coming when it’s common knowledge that online shopping is cheaper and more convenient (you’d think everyone would know this by now, but “8 percent of total U.S. retail sales within five years” means 9 out of 10 dollars are still spent in stores) – the word will soon spread and dramatic exponential growth will occur.  Remember not too long ago when such a large percentage of people voiced concerns over the safety of online shopping?  I rarely hear those kinds of comments any more.
2. The move from inconvenient, immobile desktops to “shop/transact anywhere” smart phones will accelerate this process.

This will be fun to watch …  Red highlights are mine.

Mon Mar 8, 1:13 pm ET

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Online retail sales in the United States could reach $248.7 billion by 2014, growing 60 percent from 2009, according to a study released on Monday.

Driven by a 10 percent compound annual growth rate, the projected $248.7 billion is expected to account for 8 percent of total U.S. retail sales within five years, according to Forrester Research, which authored the study.

Online sales, which slowed in the downturn, have still managed to outpace sales at U.S. brick-and-mortar stores. The National Retail Federation expects 2.5 percent growth in total retail sales in 2010, well below the 11 percent online growth rate that Forrester projects — the same as in 2009.

With more consumers comfortable with shopping online and retailers investing more in their online operations, the online sector has been steadily growing, driven by robust growth at Inc, the industry leader. posted 42 percent sales growth in its most recent fourth quarter.

Forrester expects consumer electronics and apparel, accessories and footwear to lead the growth, while sales of computer hardware and software will slow.

Still, the bulk of total computer product sales is made online. About 52 percent of computer product sales was made online in 2009, compared with 9 percent for apparel and 14 percent for electronics.

Forrester’s online sales numbers do not include sales from vehicles, travel or prescription drugs.

In Western Europe, online retail sales are projected to increase by 68 percent from 68 billion euros in 2009 to 114 billion euros by 2014.

“The pan-European marketplace is still in a stage of healthy late new-market growth,” wrote Forrester.

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