Forrester has just released its US Online Retail Forecast, 2010 to 2015, and EU Online Retail Forecast, 2010 to 2015. It is clear from our forecast data that online sales in the US and EU will continue to rise as users become increasingly comfortable buying in the online space. In 2010, US online retail sales grew 12.6% to a total of $176 billion. Similarly, EU online retails sales grew 18% in 2010 to a total of $81 billion. The US and EU markets are projected to grow 12% and 13%, respectively, in 2011.
Why is retail eCommerce continuing to grow?
- There is an increase in overall web buyers. There were 5.5 million new US online shoppers who accounted for 30% of the total eCommerce sales. The EU online population grew by 13.4 million users in 2010.
- Web buyers are spending more online. 70% of growth in US retail eCommerce sales came from existing shoppers spending more. Similarly, EU average online spend has increased 8% from 2010.
- There is an increased level of penetration for online retail. Mobile devices and the proliferation of touchpoints have contributed to the US online retail penetration growing to 8% in 2010. The EU is also seeing steady growth; Forrester is estimating 10% penetration in the UK by 2012.
Sucharita Mulpuru’s findings indicate that as shoppers become increasingly web connected, US physical retail shops will have business cannibalized by the online channel. Andrea Carini explains that the southern EU retail market is adopting online purchases slower than their northern counterparts, which he advocates should prompt retailers to “think global, act local.” EU Retailers must adapt their strategies to accommodate these new buyers, while still meeting the expectations of their more tenured online users.