Forecast growth in percentage of online retail / Ecommerce sales [#DigitalInsights]

The potential for online retail growth 

It’s interesting to look back at the growth of online sales and think forward to how much further they can grow at the expense of traditional channels. Overall percentage of Ecommerce retail sales are perhaps, surprisingly small at around 6% of sales in the US and 10% in the UK, but with sustained growth.  The data for Europe suggests growth rates of 10 to 20%, so for businesses forecasting their future growth rates, the growth target should match or exceed this.

US Ecommerce sales

The US Government has been cataloguing the trend of percentage of ecommerce sales since the first edition of my book was published and you see there has been steady growth since. Although the overall percentage of sales is not as high as might be expected.

US E-commerce sales currently average out at 6.0 percent of total sales

ecommerce growth us share %

UK Ecommerce sales growth

In the UK, similar historical government data isn’t available, but the IMRG has catalogued the growth in E-retail sales for an even longer period with the chart below showing the importance of the Christmas period well. The government does report Ecommerce sales in its monthly retail sales reports which shows a higher figure than the US with…

UK online percentage of retail sales of 10.4% of total retail sales

Ecommerce sales percent

Ecommerce sales growth in Europe

Across Europe Forrester has compiled trends of annual online sales growth rates (CAGR) varying from  2012 to 2017 of between 9% at the low end, for the Netherlands, up to 18% and 16% for Spain and Italy respectively, the fastest growing European markets over the forecast period. So, as you would expect, the countries with the highest adoption such as the Netherlands and the UK (at 10%) have lower growth rates.

For other countries eMarketer has a compilation of Ecommerce current sales growth where they report that Ecommerce sales topped $1 Trillion for the first time in 2013.

They report that due to growth in Asia-Pacific region and China in particular:

In 2013 worldwide Ecommerce sales worldwide will grow 18.3% to $1.298 trillion

eMarketer estimates that Asia-Pacific will overtake North America to become the world’s No. 1 market for B2C ecommerce sales.

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