Online sales are making gains and are projected to account for 17.0% of all retail sales within the next five years, according to Forrester Research Inc.
In its latest report, “Forrester Data: Online Retail Forecast, 2017 to 2022,” Forrester writes that e-commerce will account for 17.0% of retail sales by 2022, up from a projected 12.9% in 2017.
Not surprisingly, Amazon.com Inc, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 500, is expected to play a heavy role in that growth.
“83% of U.S. online adults made a purchase from Amazon in 2016, and 55% used Amazon as a research resource before making a purchase,” Forrester senior forecast analyst Susan Wu writes. “Forrester estimates that one-third of (online) retail spending is made through the online pure player, suggesting that many shoppers use Amazon for web research before purchasing elsewhere.”
Data from Top500Guide.com also suggests that Amazon plays a major role in driving online sales growth. All retailers in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 1000 grew by an average of 15.5% year over year in 2016. Minus Amazon, however, the remaining 999 retailers grew by 11.7% year over year.
The U.S. Commerce Department reported that shoppers spent $394.86 billion online in 2016, up 15.6% from $341.70 billion in 2015. Online accounted for 11.7% of overall retail in the U.S. last year according to an Internet Retailer analysis of online’s share of retail sales after excluding several major categories that are rarely purchased online, up from 10.6% in 2015. The Commerce Department will release its Q2 e-commerce sales estimate on Aug. 17.
Forrester expects online sales to grow by 13% year over year in 2017.
Forrester’s Wu writes that online growth is far outpacing offline growth. “Online retail sales growth started to accelerate back in 2015 and is now currently outpacing offline market growth rate by a factor of five,” she writes.
One area in particular that is expected to grow fast online within the next five years is the housewares category.
“By 2022, Forrester projects that housewares will replace computers as the third-largest product category, with almost half of this spending occurring online,” Wu writes.
According to Internet Retailer data, housewares and home furnishings retailers had $14.70 billion in online sales in 2016, accounting for 13.5% of overall sales in the category, up from 11.0% in 2015.