US online retail sales will reach $370 billion by 2017, up from $262 billion in 2013 — a 10% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next five years. In comparison, European online retail sales will hit €191 billion by 2017, up from €128 billion in 2013 (a 10.5% CAGR). This is according to Forrester’s latest US and European online retail sales forecasts, published today. 

In the US, factors such as significant investment in multichannel capabilities (e.g., endless-aisle capabilities, in-store pickup) by large retailers and the rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets are key drivers of the continued growth in the online retail sector. Additionally, notes Analyst Sucharita Mulpuru in a blog post, a very positive byproduct of this rapid growth is the total number of employment opportunities that the web retailing sector has created since its inception. Forrester and estimate that more than 400,000 individuals are employed by eCommerce companies in the US and that figure will reach 500,000+ by 2017.

The European forecast includes a breakdown by country of online retail spend, as well as market factors leading to continued growth. For instance, notes Analyst Martin Gill in a blog post, the UK, one of the most mature markets in Europe, will see online retail sales increase to €64 billion in 2017, up from €45 billion in 2013.

To learn more about this research, visit the full reports:

US Online Retail Forecast, 2012 To 2017; European Online Retail Forecast, 2012 To 2017