By  on February 28, 2017

There's no let-up in sight.This year, e-commerce in the U.S. will grow 16 percent to reach $462.17 billion, according to eMarketer, the research firm for the digital market.In 2017, total retail sales will grow 3.5 percent to reach $5.01 trillion, eMarketer projects.By 2021, e-commerce in the U.S. will reach $789.47 billion, representing 13.9 percent of all U.S. retail sales.As in years past, apparel and accessories will capture the largest share of online spending, accounting for 18.7 percent in 2017. Computers and electronics will capture the second-highest share, with 16.7 percent this year.“At some point, e-commerce sales growth will have to slow down, but eMarketer is not seeing any signs of this slowdown yet," Yory Wurmser, eMarketer retail analyst, told WWD on Tuesday when his research firm released a bevy of bullish predictions. "We’re in the midst of a resurgent period of e-commerce growth, fueled by better e-commerce interfaces, better fulfillment and increased mobile shopping and buying.“In fact, eMarketer estimates that e-commerce sales grew 16.2 percent in 2016, the fastest rate since 2011," Wurmser added. "We expect 16 percent growth in 2017. By 2021, this growth will slow slightly to 13.5 percent, but in absolute terms, e-commerce sales will actually grow by larger amounts than they grew this year.“It’s really hard to say where e-commerce sales will top out. Retail includes sectors like gas stations and auto that will always be primarily offline. Other sectors, such as books and consumer electronics, already have very high penetration rates for e-commerce.”“In terms of total online sales, apparel has the most online sales dollars. Online sales, however, account for a much smaller percentage of total sales in apparel than in computers and consumers electronics.”The pace in m-commerce is not letting up, either.According to eMarketer, in 2017, m-commerce will reach $157.14 billion, up 35.5 percent over last year's figure. And for the first time, m-commerce’s portion of e-commerce will exceed one-third (34 percent.) M-commerce is projected to comprise 3.1 percent of total retail sales this year in the U.S.Sixty-five percent of m-commerce this year will come from smartphones, which will continue to capture a growing share of m-commerce in the U.S. Tablets’ portion of m-commerce will continue to decline, according to eMarketer.In addition, the number of American shopping digitally continues to increase. This year, there will be 183.3 million digital buyers in the U.S., up 3.7 percent over last year. EMarketer noted that for the first time, more than two-thirds of the population, or 68 percent, will be digital buyers.The largest share of digital buyers (20.5 percent) are between 25 and 34, followed by 35- to 44-year-olds and 45- to 54-year-olds.In 2017, there will be 147.33 million mobile buyers (14 and over), up slightly more than 8 percent over last year. And 64.6 percent of those mobile buyers will use a smartphone to make the purchase.EMarketer said its forecasts and estimates are based on an analysis of quantitative and qualitative data from research firms, government agencies, media firms and public companies, plus interviews with top executives at publishers, ad buyers and agencies.EMarketer, founded in 1996, conducts research about marketing in a digital world. The company's "flagship" product is the eMarketer PRO, which houses eMarketer’s forecasts, analyst reports, aggregated data from 3,000+ sources, interviews with industry leaders, articles, charts and comparative market data. eMarketer also has a free daily newsletter. The company was acquired by Axel Springer SE, a large European media company, last year.

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